Freedom And Roam Uganda (FARUG) has adopted a community based approach as a strategy to address challenges posed by Gender Based Violence (GBV) against LBQ women since October 2018. As the world marks 16 Days of Activism, we acknowledge the efforts by FARUG to invigorate action towards the elimination of violence against LBQ women in Uganda. This year's campaign themed "End Gender Based Violence in The World of Work" addresses issues of violence against women in places of employment. In the Ugandan context, LBQ women are more vulnerable to economic disparities because of patriarchy and homophobia that is deeply engraved in our society.

When asked to comment on GBV against LBQ women in work spaces, Gloriah Mutyaba, the Programs Director of FARUG said that, "LBQ women especially masculine presenting women are very vulnerable to being harassed at their work places because they are very visible. And it being a society that is enshrined in patriarchal tendencies, these men often feel threatened by the presence of women that are masculine. So, they tend to use sexual assault and unwanted sexual advances as a way to make these LBQ women subordinate to them by threatening them because they feel like them presenting as queer is a threat to their manhood." LBQ women with masculine attributes have limited access to jobs or promotion opportunities in the current job market despite their work experience in favour of their feminine counterpart. There have also been several cases where competent LBQ women have been fired from their jobs based on suspicions of same sex conduct without proof.

Alternatively, LBQ women are forced to live in the closet. They are pressured to blend in and conform to feminine ideals that jeopardize their comfort so that they fit in their work stations. Additionally, some LBQ women have been coerced into sexual relations with their bosses or colleagues in exchange for their silence about their sexuality. They use this as a measure as a necessity to protect their jobs and further their careers. It should also be noted that the existence of punitive anti LGBT legislation and other laws like Anti Pornography Act encourage violence against LBQ women at their places of work. Such laws create hostile and unsafe work environments through verbal and physical attacks because of one's own sexuality. Due to the need to earn a living, victims choose to suffer in silence while these violations go unreported or unpunished. Many victims of GBV lack trust in the biased justice and legal systems. Extreme cases at the work places often pressure some into quitting their jobs and abandoning their livelihoods. To others, the injustices result into spiral substance abuse, mental and physical health risks.

It’s because of such violations that FARUG devised a community based approach with recommendations to combat GBV against LBQ women. The strategies include free counselling services to help rebuild self-esteem of the victims, trained paralegals who offer legal aid and also follow up on cases to resolve and regular workshops on GBV to continue raise awareness. The conversations in these spaces educate and sensitize LBQ members about their rights and their entitlement to justice in case of violence. However, there is a need for more research and surveys to establish evidential documentation of GBV incidents as they are perceived to be a rare occurrence among LBQ women. This will prompt intense involvement of female sexual minorities in the struggle against violence. It will also largely contribute to the attainment of Gender Equality goal for all women despite our diversities which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.