The Act Together for Inclusion Fund
Around the world, people face human rights violations due to their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). Activists have made significant advancements to protect and fulfill the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit and intersex (LGBTQ2I1) persons. But where important gains have been made on some fronts, the recognition and protection of rights remain uneven, particularly for two-spirit, trans, and intersex persons, as well as for bisexual, queer, and lesbian women. Human rights violations persist – including violence, stigmatization, restrictions on freedom of expression and association, and discrimination in access to health services, education, and decent work.
ACTIF is an outcome of significant efforts made by Canadian civil society, coordinated by Dignity Network Canada (DNC), to advocate for greater Canadian support for advancing the human rights of LGBTQ2I people internationally. The launch of The Act Together for Inclusion Fund (ACTIF) therefore marks a highly anticipated and historic moment for Canadian funding for international LGBTQ2I initiatives. Funded by Global Affairs Canada and managed by Equitas in partnership with DNC, ACTIF aims to enhance the respect, protection and fulfillment of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit and intersex (LGBTQ2I) persons in countries in the Global South, and specifically those eligible for Official Development Assistance. ACTIF will strengthen a network of Canadian LGBTQ2I organizations and build solidarity with local LGBTQ2I CSOs by providing additional, or previously inaccessible, opportunities to implement programming in the Global South.
Participatory and Feminist Approach
Equitas and DNC recognize how power and privilege are inherent to global grantmaking and the importance of destabilizing colonial funding dynamics. This is why we are strong proponents of feminist and participatory approaches that shift the power of decision making to communities themselves. With this in mind, Equitas and DNC established an ACTIF Advisory Committee and ACTIF Project Selection Committee. Visit Governance and Decision-Making for more information.
ACTIF partners will have the opportunity to participate in a number of capacity building and knowledge sharing activities and events. The Fund looks forward to sharing lessons learned, good practices as well as challenges back with LGBTQ2I communities and organizations in Canada and overseas. Activities will include a community of practice, round tables as well as strengthening the capacity of partner organizations in areas such as integrating a human rights-based approach (HRBA) into programming.
Adopting an intersectional and human rights-based approach in tandem with the application of gender-based analysis (GBA+) in all stages of fund development, governance, implementation and evaluation, will ensure that groups that experience the greatest marginalization within the broader LGBTQ2I community have access to the benefits of the Fund. Current evidence demonstrates that lesbian, bi-sexual, intersex, trans and 2-spirited people often have less well-structured organizations and therefore greater difficulty accessing funding. For this reason, special attention is paid to ensuring inclusive processes and mechanisms that guarantee equitable access to the benefits of the Fund and associated opportunities for capacity building and knowledge sharing.
1Limitations exist in using the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit and intersex. There is a spectrum of gender identity and sexual diversity both in Canada and around the world and there are many other words in various languages to describe this diversity, reflecting the culturally and historically-specific ways in which sexual and gender identities are recognized and expressed. For example, in Canada, the term “two-spirit” is used by and within Indigenous communities, reflecting the history among some peoples of describing those who differed from gender norms and crossed gender boundaries as carrying both male and female spirits.