Diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, expression & sex characteristics (SOGIESC)

An emerging area of enquiry in the development and humanitarian sectors is the intersectionality of people with disabilities and diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). Many people with disabilities in development and humanitarian contexts experience prejudice, discrimination, exclusion and violence. The same can be stated for people with diverse SOGIESC – although people’s experiences of these issues may differ, those at the intersection of disability and diverse SOGIESC face greater barriers and discrimination.

According to an intersectionality perspective, discrimination is never the result of isolated, distinct factors, but rather is an outcome of the intersections of different social identities (i.e. gender, disability, race/ethnicity, geography, religion, etc.), power relations (i.e. laws, policies, religious institutions and economic unions among others) and experiences. Through such processes, interdependent forms of privilege and oppression shaped by colonialism, imperialism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and patriarchy are created.

People with disabilities and diverse SOGIESC are located at the complex intersections of multiple systems of social inequality including not only transphobia, homophobia, ableism and heteronormativity, but also sexism, classism, racism and ageism.

Within international development and humanitarian contexts, people with diverse SOGIESC are not recognised in many of the frameworks that currently exist. Additionally, the CRPD does not recognise diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sexual characteristics. Inclusion in the community, being important for full and effective participation of people with disabilities in society, may pose specific challenges for people with disabilities and diverse SOGIESC.

Women Enabled International and the Disability Rights Fund (2023) Strengthening Gender Inclusion in Disability Rights Spaces

This resource guide gives an overview of the barriers to gender inclusion in disability rights spaces around the world and provides a set of good practices and recommendations for overcoming these barriers. Good practices are presented through real-world examples from advocates with disabilities. These include centering voices and leadership of women, girls, and gender-diverse people with disabilities, strengthening the capacity and leadership abilities of women, girls, and gender-diverse people with disabilities to exercise agency, strengthening the capacity of mainstream disability actors and funders to be gender inclusive, and increasing access and utilization of technology. The guide concludes with targeted recommendations for a variety of disability rights spaces and actors.

World Bank Group (2019). Equity and Inclusion in Education in World Bank Projects: Persons with Disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and Sexual and Gender Minorities.

This paper focuses on three groups who experience deeply entrenched disadvantages, inequity, exclusion, and discrimination in education: persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and sexual and gender minorities. Inclusion and equity in education at all levels recognize the responsibility of the school system and individual teachers and school leaders to create a learning environment that facilitates all students. Inclusion and equity also require an enabling law and policy environment that support inclusion and nondiscrimination in education and in all spheres of life. Making education inclusive and equitable requires recognizing: (a) that many different groups experience exclusion, and (b) that some individuals’ exclusion is compounded by their belonging to more than one disadvantaged group.

Disability Rights Fund (2022). Introduction to the DRF/DRAF Gender Guidelines Implementation Plan

This Plan outlines the practice of DRF/DRAF’s Gender Guidelines, applying a gender transformative lens. It seeks to learn and assess how to best resource persons with disabilities of diverse SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics).

Plan International (2020) Walking the Talk: Supporting Young LGBTIQ+ People in our COVID-19 Adaption and Response

The COVID-19 crisis is posing increasing risks to already vulnerable young LGBTIQ+ people. This briefing paper is for all Plan International staff, to help protect and empower these young people by including them in our response to crises and programme adaptations across the world.

Edge Effect & UN Women (2021) THE ONLY WAY IS UP: Monitoring and Encouraging Diverse SOGIESC Inclusion in the Humanitarian and DRR Sectors

Discrimination, violence and exclusion is experienced by people with diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Expressions, and Sex Characteristics (aka LGBTIQ+ people) before, during and after disasters and conflict. The manifestations are often many and profound, undermining people’s potential to develop resilient and dignified lives, and to survive and recover from shocks. This discrimination, violence and exclusion is maintained by deeply rooted norms at the heart of societal laws, institutions and practices, shaping the lives of people with diverse SOGIESC well before they ever interact with the humanitarian system, or with disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives. However this report, as part of an emerging body of literature, also shows that the humanitarian and DRR systems often fail to acknowledge or address the discrimination, violence and exclusion experienced by people with diverse SOGIESC. At the very least this leaves people with diverse SOGIESC to find their ow

Edge Effect & CBM Australia (2021) "We Don't Do A Lot For Them Specifically": A scoping report on gaps and opportunities for improving diverse SOGIESC inclusion in cash transfer and social protection programs, during the COVID-19 crisi

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) commissioned Edge Effect to explore whether social protection and cash based assistance programs – especially COVID-19 programs – have addressed the needs of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions (SOGIESC). The report finds major gaps in social protection support for people with diverse SOGIESC. Globally, of 3,112 policy measures recorded in the UNDP and UN Women COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker (as of March 2021) just eight mention diversity of SOGIESC including some existing programs not specifically targeting new COVID-19 needs. To help social protection actors start to fill these gaps, the report provides recommendations in the form of five steps that would improve diverse SOGIESC inclusion in social protection programs generally, and five steps for cash-based assistance programs for COVID-19 and beyond. Cash based assistance is a large part of government and NGO responses to

Blyth, J. & Woolf, L. (2020) Out of the Margins: An intersectional analysis of disability and diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, expression & sex characteristics in humanitarian and development contexts

This report focuses on the intersectionality of people with disabilities of diverse SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression, and Sexual Characteristics) in the Asia-Pacific in development and humanitarian sectors. The process involved a review of the available literature and analysis of key informant interviews with individuals and organisations. Four key recommendations are made: 1 Build internal organisational mechanisms to be inclusive of people with disabilities and diverse SOGIESC. 2 Increase opportunities for people with disabilities and diverse SOGIESC to access and actively participate in the services provided by development and humanitarian organisations. 3 Develop and implement advocacy and awareness campaigns based on the experiences and knowledge of people with disabilities and diverse SOGEISC, their families and their communities. 4 Intentionally include people with disabilities and diverse SOGIESC in donor strategies and frameworks.

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A diagram of the linking relationships between disability, development contexts, and SOGIESC. In the middle of this is a red circle which interlinks them all to experience (e.g., discrimination and exclusion)