It’s never easy for the LGBTI community. But the coronavirus pandemic has accentuated their difficulties and vulnerabilities as this much-misunderstood community continues to face different forms of discrimination. The coronavirus crisis will disproportionately affect LGBTI persons in many ways, across the world, says research from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Against this backdrop, the High Commission of Canada in India; in partnership with India Writes Network – a well-known media, publishing and research organisation – will organize a webinar themed “Covid-19 and Beyond: LGBTI in the Media” on January 15, 2021 (11 am-12.30 pm).
The webinar seeks to raise awareness about the issues that matter to the LGBTI community and the role of the media in ensuring dignity, safety, and respect for all, regardless of their identity.
Apart from difficulties in accessing healthcare services and gainful employment, the members of the community are dealing with mental trauma. Isolation and quarantine measures have further exposed them to increased abuse and violence at home, while cutting them off from referral pathways, services and their support networks. Many of them have had to live with unsupportive families.
Even in normal times, the members of the LGBTI community face discrimination in matters of employment, housing, health and education among other areas. The pandemic has compounded this discrimination because of overburdened healthcare services and disruptions in normal economic activities.
In this backdrop, it is important to analyse the role of the media in understanding the specific issues faced by the LGBTI community and the quality and quantity in which these issues have been covered.
“Canada is committed to improving the lives of LGBTI people at home and abroad by supporting this issue on the world stage and encouraging other countries to follow suit,” said a concept note for the webinar. “While recognizing that countries are at different stages, Canada supports the elimination of laws and policies that discriminate against persons based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and combating all acts of violence targeted towards LGBTI persons.”
The Supreme Court of India’s judgement in 2018 is significant as it restored the dignity and freedom of the LGBTI community. The Transgender Persons Act also seeks to protect the rights of the transgender community in India.
Canada is proud to support the efforts of several local and international partners working towards increased mainstream acceptance of LGBTI people. Canada has supported initiatives aimed at increased access to skills training and employment opportunities. Initiatives include, participation in pride marches, supporting LGBTI career fairs, corporate sensitization workshops, skills training and leadership workshops, among others.
Ahead of the webinar, Manish Chand, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network and India and the World magazine, said: “The webinar is timely as it seeks to widen the arc of understanding about issues that directly impact lives and well-being of the LGBTI+ community. It’s time for mainstreaming of this community in India and across the world. Inclusion is the way forward.”
The webinar will feature prominent journalists and LGBTI activists to explore the following topics:
- Does media make an effort to reach out to and understand the problems of the LGBTI community and does the community reach out to the media?
- Has the media addressed the LGBTI community’s access to safe spaces, medical care, and emotional support during the pandemic?
- What role can the media play in influencing public policy to ensure it protects the rights of the LGBTI community?
- Post-Covid, the LGBTI community has faced stigma – in physical and digital space. What has been the role of the media in countering it?
- What role can the media play in changing social mind-sets, countering stereotypes and increasing the acceptance of LGBTI people?
- How can the media contribute to ensure economic empowerment of the LGBTI community in the post-Covid world?
Theme: Covid-19 and Beyond: LGBTI in the Media
When January 15, 2021 (Friday) – 11 am-12.30 pm IST
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to firstname.lastname@example.org