Human rights defender
Diana is a human rights defender from Zimbabwe who has extensive knowledge of HIV, LGBTI rights and sex worker’s programming and human rights advocacy. As a trainer, Diana is currently developing and strengthening the capacity of LGBTI persons, people who use drugs (PWUD) and sex worker’s organizations in Southern Africa to engage policy makers, increase local advocacy and self-efficiency among the key populations.
Human rights violations in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has been ranked as one of the least accepting countries in the world for LGBTI people. A 2006 revision of the criminal code of Zimbabwe lays down that acts that “would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act” are considered as an illegal act of sodomy. This could include two LGBTI persons who are hugging or kissing. HRDs who focus on LGBTI or sex worker’s rights navigate in a homophobic country and are constantly under attack. They endure blacklisting, violence, segregation or arbitrary arrest. In January 2018, Zimbabwe’s new President has stated that it is not his duty to press for change on LGBTI issues in the country.
Threats and harassment
As a popular openly lesbian woman in Zimbabwe, Diana is constantly marginalized by the society. Diana has been working for years without taking any rest in a context that is hostile to LGBTI people.