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OUT in Zimbabwe

Sexual and gender minorities in Zimbabwe face legal, cultural and social challenges not experienced by other groups within Zimbabwe. Our ‘OUT in Zimbabwe’ research is examines the lived experiences of sexual and gender minorities in Zimbabwe. We unearthed some intriguing findings and have made some important recommendations.

"We aren’t really safe. The law might be protecting us but the police and law enforcement are not really. When they identify a member of the community they are out to get them, even if they have done nothing wrong."

(Respondent, Zimbabwe)

Homosexuality has been said to be ‘Un-African’ and many world leaders, including leaders of Zimbabwe, have suggested this. However, we know that this is not necessarily true, as Zimbabwe has re-written its own sexual history. Our upcoming report highlights that:

“Tracing homosexuality far back within Zimbabwe leads to evidence found in thousand-year-old rock paintings created by the San people, depicting anal sex between men which is the earliest evidence which suggests homosexuality existed in pre-colonial Africa” (OUT in Zimbabwe)

Please note that we use the term SOGIESC in this research report (sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics).

Homosexuality has been said to be ‘Un-African’ and many world leaders, including leaders of Zimbabwe, have suggested this. However, we know that this is not necessarily true, as Zimbabwe has re-written its own sexual history. Our upcoming report highlights that:

“Tracing homosexuality far back within Zimbabwe leads to evidence found in thousand-year-old rock paintings created by the San people, depicting anal sex between men which is the earliest evidence which suggests homosexuality existed in pre-colonial Africa” (OUT in Zimbabwe)

Please note that we use the term SOGIESC in this research report (sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics).

Homosexuality has been said to be ‘Un-African’ and many world leaders, including leaders of Zimbabwe, have suggested this. However, we know that this is not necessarily true, as Zimbabwe has re-written its own sexual history. Our research report highlights that:

“Tracing homosexuality far back within Zimbabwe leads to evidence found in thousand-year-old rock paintings created by the San people, depicting anal sex between men which is the earliest evidence which suggests homosexuality existed in pre-colonial Africa” (OUT in Zimbabwe)

Please note that we use the term SOGIESC in this research report (sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics).

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The key findings of our OUT in Uganda research, found that:

  • the majority of sexual and gender minorities' families have not been
    supportive of their family member as SOGI person. Not supportive (36.4%), some family members have been supportive (34.5%), have a supportive family (20%), and prefer not to answer (9.1%).

  • some sexual and gender minorities have been disowned by their family
    because of their SOGI.

  • the majority of sexual and gender minorities have not been denied
    custody, guardianship, or access to their own children.

  • most sexual and gender minorities are highly educated (Higher education (50.9%), secondary education (21.8%), etc.). Despite sexual and gender minorities being educated, they still have limited job security.

  • more than a third of sexual and gender minorities face discrimination in the job market because of who they are.

  • a concerning number of sexual and gender minorities cannot afford
    health care - 49.1%. Over a quarter of sexual and gender minorities refuse to use mainstream hospitals because of who they are.

  • over half of sexual and gender minorities have mental health problems
    as a result of how they have been treated because of their SOGI.

  • the majority (87.3%) of sexual and gender minorities feel that there are not enough support services for sexual and gender minorities in Zimbabwe.

Please read and download this report (opens in PDF) by clicking here

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Would you like to develop a partnership with us to research the human rights abuses and development needs of sexual and gender minorities in YOUR nation state or region?

ReportOUT warmly welcome partnerships with activists, campaigners and organisations in different nations states to work with us to research, document and inform the human rights abuses and development needs of gender and sexual minorities. This may be a country report about a nation state, or a more thematic research project examining a particular issue within a country. If you are interested in partnering with us, please click below to find out more.