In June 2010 ILGA collected the results of an internet survey sent to over 800 of its members and allies. The aim of the survey was to assess the outcomes of the ILGA women’s project, a project funded by Oxfam-Novib which lasted seven years. We wanted to understand which were the areas that ILGA should focus in the coming years in relation to women issues. One of the outcomes of the survey indicated that members and allies would like ILGA to continue working on lesbian’s health. That is why ILGA decided to undertake this project “Lesbian Health: Myths and Realities”.
Most of the time lesbians’ issues are either placed into the general “Homosexual” category, that is to say masculine, or in the general “Woman” category, that is to say heterosexual. This is also the case for health. Studies and statistics on women’s health, although numerous, are rarely broken down by specific groups. In addition, research on gay health is still very much concentrated on HIV/AIDS amongst gay men.
Given the general lack of focus on lesbian health issues, ILGA decided to design a project that raises awareness of some misconceptions on lesbian’s health and sexual behaviour that could have life-threatening consequences.
Three double-sided sheets, that can also be used individually, focus on the “myths and realities” surrounding lesbian’s health and are available in French, Dutch, English and soon also in Spanish.
Organisations are encouraged to use the sheets and translate them to their local language, provided that credit is given to ILGA. Interested? Please send a message to email@example.com
The themes tackled are Breast and Cervical cancers, HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Well-Being. The illustrations at the back of each sheet will help to easily understand what are the “myths” and the “realities” of lesbians’ health on each of the topics.
We have also prepared a quiz on myths related to lesbians’ health. It will give you the opportunity to test your knowledge. The quiz can also be used in raising awareness trainings and workshops.
The initial project in French and Dutch was coordinated by ILGA with the help of the following Belgian associations: