Cooperation Canada partnered with Dignity Network Canada to present a virtual learning session on “SOGIESC Inclusion in International Cooperation Organizations” on June 14, 2023. The event featured remarks by Vaisnavi Gnanasekaran, SRHR Specialist at Oxfam Canada, Libertad Benito Torres, Senior Gender Consultant at Equitas, Lina Marcela Gomez Nunez, Gender and Social Inclusion Manager at Cuso International, and Nasya Razavi, Co-Manager at Inter Pares. 

These organizations have embarked on a journey to be more inclusive in their international work on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity & expression and sexual characteristics (SOGIESC). 

Panellists were asked a series of questions regarding SOGIESC inclusion, intersectionality and solidarity with 2SLGBTQI+ organizations most notably in the Global South. 

Successful SOGIESC inclusion in international cooperation organizations means taking cues from the groundbreaking work in the Global South.  Establishing connections, creating collaborations and cooperation between North-South organizations is key to this work. 

Intersectionality is paramount to SOGIESC inclusion. Whether the work pertains to SRHR, gender equality, anti-racism and anti-oppression, it’s crucial that a decolonized approach is taken.  Representation needs to be emphasized throughout the entire organization.  All voices need to be heard & promoted by the organization and consulted as a priority. 

Amid growing backlash against the 2SLGBTQI+ community globally – due in part to religious fundamentalism and conservative governments – the panellists remained hopeful.  While there are many progressive countries with robust protections, there remain increased threats & discrimination against 2SLGBTQI+ human rights. 


Althea Branton

Director of Ops and Member Relations, Dignity Network