On 20th June 2016, Organization for Gender Empowerment and Rights Advocacy (OGERA), a women’s organization that advocates for the rights of refugees and Lesbian, Bisexual women and Transgender men who engage in sex work officially unveiled its road map to OGERA CUP tournament 2016.
Many at times, sexual minorities have faced various forms of discrimination in their day to day life. Among these, LGBTI and sex workers who are talented in different forms of sports have encountered many challenges in their effort to be part of different competitions ranging from swimming, basketball, football, netball pool, racing and many other games. Many credible players have been laid down from their clubs/ teams of affiliation by their coaches on suspicions for being Lesbian, Gay, bisexual, Transgender, Interrex or Queer (LGBTIQ)
With support from Planet Romeo Foundation, OGERA, initiated a project named “LBT Talents to influence change” with a major aim of raising awareness to the wider sporting community thus creating opportunities for sexual minorities joining national teams and different league clubs. Through this also OGERA aims at forming and all exclusive Lesbian, Bisexual women, and Transgender men from the LBT community and building confidence for Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender men/ women who have sex women persons to be able to defend and advocate for their rights through trainings about human rights.
Through this great initiative, OGERA more so provides a safe space/ platform where members from the LBT/WSW society in Uganda can share real life personal experiences concerning discrimination in the mainstream sporting fraternizes thus averting stigma and discrimination.
In addition to the above, through this project, OGERA is hoping to increase its membership, create and maintain partnerships with the mainstream sports fraternity, media houses, and the general public and as well give opportunities to LBT/ WSW members to enhance their talents.
Batte Shamila, the Executive Director for OGERA Uganda told Kuchu Times that their overall goal for this initiative is to create awareness about LBT/WSW rights, reduce discrimination and more so demand for equal rights and opportunities for LBT/WSW women through sports.
After documenting stories of its talented members and discovering the different challenges that their members were facing, OGERA resolved to initiate such a great project such that its members can be relived of all the distresses that the members were going through and provide a platform where they would compete without fear of being discriminated based on their gender identity and sexual orientation.
In this orientation, workshop, members were sensitized about human rights by an officer from Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum and they were reminded to always report any kinds of violations and discriminations to the relevant authorities since the law permits all citizens to be protected by the state and that no one has a right to discriminate some body based on their gender and sexual differences.
So far six teams have confirmed and have duly registered to participate in this tournament;
- Mbale Bombastics
- Trans Network Team
- The Smashers
- Fema Rainbow Ballers
- Ogera Titans
- FMR Team.
Shamila, the leader of OGERA affirmed to Kuchu Times that this tournament will take place in the first week of July and that all these six teams are busy training to emerge victors from this great competition with their coaches. She further said that they hope to make this an annual event starting this year.
The overall winner of this tournament will walk away with a trophy and addition prize of one million Uganda shillings, second runners up will be awarded five hundred thousand shillings, the most valuable player (MVP) and the top scorer will each win a pair of brand new soccer boots, the best goal keeper a pair of gloves and a full set of jerseys to the third runners up. All these in these leading categories will all be awarded with medals congratulating them upon the registered success.
We wish all the participants a great tournament.