An activist and a founder of the Luleki Sizwe organisation, Ndumie Funda, has urged women to stand up and fight for their rights. She said women mustn’t be bullied or harassed by men. Funda, who is also a member of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender and Intersexual (LGBTQI+) community, said she feels women are less respected in many societies as their powers are restricted.
Luleki Sizwe is an advocacy organisation for the LGBTQI+ community. The organisation which is based in Gugulethu was established in 2008 in an effort to give a platform LGBTQI+ community members to address their challenges.
“I formed the organisation after I lost my fiancé due to corrective rape in Nyanga in 2007. I felt there was a need to establish the organisation for people to be educated about LGBTQI+ community in our society through awareness campaigns,” said Funda.
However, she stated that the organisation is not fighting for LGBTQI+ community only but for all the women. She said they are working with all the community structures to raise awareness.
“There are people in our communities who refuse to accept us and who are still judging us. Even some parents disown their children once they find out they are lesbians or gays,” she said.
Funda declared that being a member of LGBTQI+ community is a struggle on its own. “We can’t tolerate the killings of lesbians by people who think they are superior to others. Courts needs to give harsh sentences against people who kill gays and lesbians,” she said, adding that people needed to move away from a patriarchal mindset.
She emphasised that women can’t be celebrated only for a month.
“We know that August is regarded as women’s month based on historical events that happened then. But we believe that women need to be recognised every day. Women are still oppressed and even marginalised in some issues. There is no equality in our society,” she concluded.