Gender and sexual diversity is about understanding a few of a person’s many facets—biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation—and recognizing human diversity across these dimensions. Understanding and applying concepts about gender and sexual diversity is essential to public health programming. Gender and sexual minorities face high levels of stigma and discrimination, which directly increases health risks and impacts access to services. In the context of health and HIV programming, stigma can lead to inadequate funding allocations, harmful policies, inappropriate program design, and unfriendly health services. Reducing stigma against gender and sexual minorities is essential to protecting human rights and improving health outcomes. When HIV programmers, policymakers, health providers, and communities have a better understanding of GSD, we can improve prevention services, testing, linkages to care, retention in care, and ultimately viral suppression.
In 2015,the Health Policy Project—the predecessor to Health Policy Plus (HP+)—designed a one-day GSD training, and delivered it in over 39 countries. This curriculum was developed specifically for PEPFAR staff and their implementing partners to help country programs understand and address the needs of gender and sexual minority communities in the context of HIV programming. For more information on the global GSD training, please see http://www.healthpolicyproject.com/index.cfm?ID=GSDTraining.
Recognizing the importance of localizing the GSD training to specific contexts and building local capacity deliver the training, HP+ has worked with stakeholders in Kenya to customize the global curriculum, creating the Kenyan GSD Training.
With the recognition that addressing norms and attitudes related to sexual orientation and gender identity are important components of gender integration, this curriculum takes a unique approach through its exploration of gender and sexual diversity
With the an increasingly diverse workforce and consumer market, and the rise of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer workforce over the last decade, many employers struggle to help their established workforce adapt, and furthermore to bring new staff into the organization’s culture.
In a 2006 Society for Human Resource Management survey, 76 percent of HR professionals indicated that their organizations provided training on diversity issues. SHRM broke diversity training into several categories: anti-discrimination training, diversity awareness training, cultural awareness training, diversity management/leadership training, diversity knowledge/skills-based training, or dimension-specific workshops. SHRM also broke down what employees underwent training: top-level executives, non-executive managerial employees and no managerial employees.
From the above, it is clear that there is need for the sensitization of service providers, law makers and enforcers to ensure understanding of gender and sexual minorities to improve mechanism of serving the community and key population have access to health services and are protected from human rights violations. Key populations avoid accessing HIV care and treatment services when law enforcers treat them with contempt, most cases out of ignorance. Conversely, a reduction in violence against key population will greatly reduce the rate of new infections amongst them. The incorporation of right based approaches to health service delivery by health care workers will also ensure timely and quality services to key populations.
In the light of this, Persons Marginalized and Aggrieved in Kenya (PEMA Kenya) in partnership with LVCT Health and support from Elton John AIDS Foundation, seek to conduct a one day County Inspectorate Training on Gender and Sexual Diversity, HIV and Human Rights .The forum will be premised on the crucial role that the county inspectorates play to support prevention of violence and access to healthcare services for the GSM.
The main aim of this training is to help country programs understand and address the needs of gender and sexual minority communities in the context of HIV programming, U.S. workplace policy on non-discrimination, and through a human rights lens.
Other objectives of the training include:
• To enhance understanding of gender and sexual minorities to ensure better mechanism of serving the community
• To demystify the myths and misconceptions that exists concerning gender and sexual minorities.
4.0 EXPECTED OUTPUT
• The county inspectorates in Mombasa County are in a position to respond to cases of violence meted against gender and sexual minorities (GSM) in human rights lens.
• There is increased awareness and understanding on the linkages between HIV and human rights among the GSMs