ÉGIDES – l’Alliance internationale francophone pour l’égalité et les diversités
(International Francophone Alliance for Equality and Diversities)
ÉGIDES is an international organization who works for and focuses on people of the LGBTQI community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex). Created in May 2019 in Montreal, Canada, ÉGIDES advocates for the rights and the development of LGBTQI civil society organizations as well as individuals from LGBTQI communities located in international Francophone countries. The organization also works with other LGBTQI organizations internationally in order to provide more resources and support for LGBTQI communities in Francophone countries.
The creation of ÉGIDES has been acknowledged internationally as an incredible opportunity to allow the movement of LGBTQI organizations in Francophone countries to better position themselves in the fight against LGBTphobias and for the progress of LGBTQI rights internationally. Historically, groups in Francophone countries were often marginalized and had disproportionately low access to resources, particularly because of language and cultural barriers.
Thanks to the work and presence of ÉGIDES, Francophones will now have a better ability to be a part of the broader international movement and finally take their rightful place. It is to fill an obvious void in the Francophone community worldwide that ÉGIDES exists.
ÉGIDES - the International Francophone Alliance for Equality and Diversities - plans to operate in some 50 countries and territories worldwide. The goal: to support, through various programs, services and resources, its members and Francophone LGBTQI organizations. Its mission: to promote the equality and inclusion of people who are made vulnerable by or excluded because of their sexual orientation, their gender identity or expression, or by their sexual characteristics; to work for the well-being and for the rights and interests of these people. ÉGIDES aims to support groups, communities and organizations internationally by bringing together, wherever French is a relevant language, these people and communities and provide them with increased support and actions.
State of LGBTQI Rights in the Francophonie
Among the French-speaking countries, just over a dozen, mainly located in Africa and in the Middle East, still criminalize individuals who have same-sex sexual relations. The consequences of a conviction can be incredibly serious. In a few cases, people who have sexual relations with someone of the same sex are still subject to the death penalty or to life imprisonment. In other cases, these individuals face incarceration ranging from three to five years or even up to 14 years.
In other places various laws of public morality, of religious or social standards, attack behaviors deemed "unnatural" and are used to persecute LGBTQI individuals. Only a handful of jurisdictions recognize changes to gender identity and expression. On the other hand, no French-speaking country prohibits physical abuse of intersex children.
There are two types of members within ÉGIDES:
- ACTIVE MEMBER
An active member is any not-for-profit legal entity, association or collective that espouses the values of the organization, and abides with the conditions of membership established by ÉGIDES’s bylaws, and whose application for admission has been accepted by the Board of Directors.
Any active member must be associated to a geographical group. An active member can belong to only one geographical group. The groups are divided as follows:
(i) The Americas
(ii) Europe and Central Asia
(iii) North Africa
(iv) West Africa
(v) Central, Eastern and Southern Africa
(vi) Asia, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean
2. ASSOCIATE MEMBER
An associate member is any not-for-profit legal entity, association, collective or public authority that espouses the values of the organization, and abides with the conditions of membership established by ÉGIDES’s bylaws, and whose application for admission has been accepted by the Board of Directors.
Associate members will have the right to receive notice to attend the yearly members meeting, to be represented by a physical person or to send delegates. They do not, however, have the right to vote at these meetings.
Who can become a member?
An association, ie. any group by which the members agree to pursue a common purpose; a public authority, any entity created by legislation or by a government in the public interest; a collective, that is to say any informal group composed of at least three (3) persons who recognize its existence and agree to pursue together a common goal; and finally a legal entity, that is any organization with a legal statuswherever or however incorporated.
How to apply for membership?
Any entity wishing to join the organization as an Active Member or Associate Member must submit an application for admission to the Board of directors using this form and pay the membership fee.
Save the date!
Please take note that ÉGIDES will hold its first ever Members’ General Meeting (MGM) from July 1st to July 4th, 2020, in Geneva.
On the agenda: training sessions, keynote speakers, workshops and opportunities to exchange on key issues, followed by the election of the new Board of Directors.
It’s an event not to be missed!
A scholarship program will be established to encourage the participation of members who require financial assistance.
More details to follow in the upcoming weeks.