Applying human rights principles to selected rights of sexual minorities in Africa 806

Module code HRA 806
Qualification Postgraduate
Faculty Faculty of Law
Module content

The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to selected issues affecting sexual minorities in Africa, with a view to developing human rights responses to related contemporary challenges in the African region. Topics include:

  1. Providing a critical understanding of the concepts ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity', ‘homosexual’, ‘bisexual’, ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘transgender’, ‘intersex’, ‘sexual minority’, ‘heterosexism’, and ‘queer’
  2. Understanding theories on the psychology, biology and sociobiology of homosexuality
  3. Investigating the global history of homosexuality, particularly in the ‘West’ (USA and Britain) and its influence on Africa
  4. Investigating the evolution of homosexuality and society in Africa, including an anthropological review of homosexuality in traditional African societies, and under colonialism and in post-colonial Africa
  5. Understanding the nature of the violation of rights of ‘sexual minorities’ including violations to the rights to health; discrimination based on actual or presumed sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status; sexual and other forms of violence; violations of the right to privacy; stigmatisation and its consequences) particularly by states and non-state actors in Africa 
  6. Understanding the reasons for rights violations and homophobia in Africa by investigating the role of culture/tradition, religion and majoritarianism
  7. Considering the role of public policy, by focusing on the need and possibilities for legal reform, and strategies to sensitise communities for the rights of sexual minorities and change homophobic attitudes
Module credits 15.00
NQF Level 09
Prerequisites No prerequisites.
Contact time 30 contact hours per semester
Language of tuition Module is presented in English
Department Centre for Human Rights
Period of presentation Semester 1

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