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Laws and policies affecting transgender persons in Southern Africa

Laws and policies affecting transgender persons in Southern Africa

Throughout Africa, transgender persons have to contend with pervasive negative experiences, such as societal stigma and discrimination. Many transgender men and women experience discrimination and harassment in their daily lives – at work, at home, while they are walking on the street, or when they use public facilities such as banks, restaurants, hospitals, police stations or airports – simply because they do not conform to gender identity norms. All persons are born as equal human beings and with inherent dignity. Indeed like all human beings, transgender persons have the right not to be discriminated against, or harassed and abused. Their rights are protected under the national constitutions of their countries, and they are protected by regional and international human rights instruments which oblige their governments to protect all persons.

SALC’s latest booklet on the Laws and Policies Affecting Transgender Persons in Southern Africa explores the laws and policies that could potentially affect the rights of transgender persons in ten Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The aim of the booklet is to provide transgender persons, human rights activists and human rights organisations, with an easy guide on the laws and policies in their own countries which may potentially affect their rights and interests.

We are mindful of the possibility that some laws might have changed at the time of the publication and that gaps in information pertaining to specific countries may exist. If you are aware of any changes in laws or policies or if any laws or policies have been omitted, kindly email us on and we will update the booklet accordingly.

Download a full version of the report here

Chapter by chapter:

Glossary of terms
Understanding terminology
Transgender rights in Angola
Transgender rights in Botswana
Transgender rights in Lesotho
Transgender rights in Malawi
Transgender rights in Mozambique
Transgender rights in Namibia
Transgender rights in South Africa
Transgender rights in Swaziland
Transgender rights in Zambia
Transgender rights in Zimbabwe

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