End All Forms of Violence Against Women: CTDC Video for 16 Days of Activism

There are different forms of violence practised against women everyday casually, at home, on the streets and in all ways of life. It is important to stand up against all forms of violence against women and raise awareness.
هنالك أنواع مختلفة من العنف الممارس ضد النساء يومياً وبشكل “اعتيادي” في المنزل وفي الشوارع وفي كل مناحي الحياة،. من المهم مجابهة كل أنواع العنف ضد النساء وزيادة الوعي.
#16daysofactivism #endviolenceagainstwomen

Improving Service Provision for Non-Normative Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK: A Policy Brief

This policy brief focuses on services currently available for non-normative refugees and asylum seekers across the United Kingdom. It illustrates the gaps in service provision, and provides recommendations on how to fill these gaps. The brief shows how legal support is broadly available to non-normative refugees, but there is a lack of collaborative, widespread psychosocial support upon entry to the UK. Drawing on CTDC’s work and research in the Middle East and North Africa region, this brief also highlights the challenges facing non-normative refugees from Arabic speaking countries in particular, as well as recommendations to meet the needs of this group in the UK. You can access the full policy brief here.

Crackdown on Non-Normative People in Egypt

On 22 September 2017, the rainbow flag was raised during a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo, Egypt. Following this, the Egyptian state has conducted an aggressive crackdown on individuals suspected to be members of the LGBT community. This crackdown has seen widespread human rights violations, at the hands of Egyptian authorities, including detentions without trial, torture and instances of ‘anal testing’ to determine the detainee’s sexuality. In total, 62 individuals have been arrested for ‘promoting sexually deviant activities’. Many of the arrests have taken place following police infiltration of alleged LGBT ‘safe spaces’, such as clubs and bars. This crackdown has also extended to online platforms, with many people taking to social media to hunt down, bully and harass those suspected of as ‘LGBT’. The police has also utilised dating applications, such as Grindr, and Facebook to find individuals with non-normative genders and sexualities. The situation is at a critical stage, and looks set to worsen in the coming weeks, if policy makers, diplomats and international media take no action against the government. Read our policy brief for further details.

Tackling Honour Killings through Sexual and Gender Rights Advocacy: Recommendations for Policy and Practice

Honour killing is a term used to denote a form of gender-based violence in which women, often young and unmarried, are brutally murdered by family members for being allegedly involved in illicit sexual practices, therefore dishonouring herself and her family. There is no accurate or current data on honour killings statistics in the Middle East and North Africa due to their unreported and often overlooked nature, and the refusal of continued governments to address the issue.

This policy brief will introduce the notion of honour killings, and highlight key obstacles and recommendations in tackling this long-standing issue throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This brief will also highlight some of the ways in which honour killings – because of their reliance on gender and sexual taboos – can be incorporated into broader sexual and gender rights advocacy strategies.


Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA: Policy Brief

This policy brief builds on the arguments and conclusions set out in CTDC’s publication titled Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region: Undoing LGBTQI Categories. In this document, we compliment this extensive, research-led paper by setting out a number of concrete recommendations for practitioners, policy makers and activists from the region working to improve the situation facing, non-normative people commonly referred to as LGBTQI peoples. In light of the key challenges facing this group, which include sexual, physical and mental violence, economic marginalisation, homelessness, poor sexual health service provisions and, in instances of displacement, barriers to international protection, we stress the need for research to map on to practice. Click here for the full policy brief.

Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region: Undoing LGBTQI Categories

Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region

Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region

There have been many attempts to address gender and sexual rights in the MENA region, a majority of which have focused on women’s empowerment and gender equality. More recently the rights of LGBTQI people have taken centre stage in development efforts and in the agendas of policy makers. This report highlights some major problems in the frameworks underpinning these efforts, despite their well-meant intentions. In this report, we shed light on the implications of adopting universalist LGBTQI identity categories within international humanitarian and development programming. Furthermore, this report highlights how LGBTQI identity categories often encourage tensions within and between communities, and even within communities of non-normative people, often undermining the space for change and collaboration on the one hand, and inclusivity on the other. This report also highlights the failure of international protection mechanisms to offer adequate support to those displaced due to non-normative sexual practices. The LGBTQI categories in case of applications for asylum is also problematized in this paper, as it has proven to be exclusionary to those at risk of SPGP violence but who do not necessarily identify as LGBTQI. Current international protection mechanisms have also to a great extent contributed to an image of a uniform LGBTQI identity, an identity that fits within stereotypes of non-normative people. Within these identities, there is a lack of tolerance for difference and an implication of uniformity that does not apply to all of the letters of the LGBTQI. Within this report there is also a country overview of the legal situation affecting LGBTQI people across the region. Click Here for the Full Report.

Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region: Policy Brief

Breaking Taboo through Grassroots Advocacy: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region

Breaking Taboo through Grassroots Advocacy: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region

Breaking Taboo through Grassroots Advocacy: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region

The MENA region receives only a fraction of the total global funds directed toward HIV/AIDS projects. This is despite evidence that HIV/AIDS prevalence is rising in the region at much faster rates than anywhere else in the world, particularly among MSM, LGBT and other vulnerable groups such as women and children. This policy brief presents recommendations for HIV/AIDS prevention strategies in the MENA region to be more effective. The full policy brief can be accessed via this link: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region: Policy Brief.

Call for Conference Papers: Politicised Sexualities, Marginalised Histories

CTDC is delighted to publish the call for papers for its second annual conference, under the title of ‘Politicised Sexualities, Marginalised Histories: A Conference on Sexuality in Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA)’. This conference is being collaboratively organised by the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration- CTDC and the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS University of London. The conference will take place on March 25th, 2017 at Khalili Lecture Theatre at SOAS.

The conference will aim to address problems and challenges in relation to sexual rights in the SWANA region in particular, and the Global South in general, through scrutinising sexual identity politics and the historical development of sexual rights discourses. This one-day conference hopes to re-centre histories and presents in relation to sexuality and gender, exploring the transnational and trans-historical politics of sexual identity in the SWANA region, in an attempt to subvert the omnipresent narratives about LGBTQI people and marginalised groups from the SWANA seeking ‘safe havens’ in the Global North. Click here for the full call for papers.

CTDC welcomes submissions by activists, academics and practitioners in the field, individuals belonging to marginalised groups are especially encouraged to submit abstracts. We invite contributors to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words by January 29th 2017. Please send your abstract and your short biography to info@ctdc.org. Following the conference we hope to publish a selection of conference papers in an edited volume.

This conference is being collaboratively organised by the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration- CTDC and the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS.

Breaking New Grounds in Tunisia

CTDC, in collaboration with Mawjoudin, has carried out a series of successful workshops on organisational development and strategic thinking. The workshops also focused on sexuality and gender, enabling a lively discussion that was representative of different segments of Tunisian society.

The training offered by CTDC focused in particular on improving strategic thinking and planning. Topics included thinking effectively about long term organisational planning, rethinking sexual rights movements or organisations, working efficiently with one another in an often challenging setting. CTDC also discussed the need to use appropriate terminology when addressing sexual rights given the often-sensitive nature of such an issue.

The workshops were all extremely well received by participants. Attendance was high and the level of engagement was excellent. One of the attendees said that: “This training course has exceeded my expectations in terms of strategic thinking and planning”. Another participant said that: “The trainers were very friendly and capable. They were equipped with the skills to deliver the training in a coherent manner.” We also learnt so much from those who participated, and were grateful for the egalitarian and professional nature of the discussions. This enabled an extremely successful set of workshops for both trainers and trainees.


As such, CTDC would like to express our sincere thanks to all those who attended. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with such an inspiring group of activists. The atmosphere was collaborative, providing a safe space for everyone involved. Following the workshops, CTDC will continue to support the activists as they work on taking their training forward. We will also be providing mentorship and support for this group in the coming months in order to meet our project objectives. We are particularly pleased with how well the workshops went given the nature of a number of our project goals. Firstly, the workshops embodied a democratic and non-discriminatory quality that we believe ought to enhance the democratic space available to Tunisian activists. The workshops also expanded the capacity of such activists to come together to support one another in their work. The collaboration that was witnessed during the course of the workshops also helps to ensure the likelihood that activist organisations will develop sustainably from the grass roots.

CTDC is incredibly excited to be taking this work forward by fostering a long-term partnership with activists in Tunisia. It is hoped that our collaborative work here will enable long-term improvements in the conditions facing marginalised communities.