Stain on the Rainbow Nation

Busi Kheswa
Sub-Saharan Africa
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South African LGBT rights advocate Busi Kheswa discusses the disparity between South Africa’s laws banning discrimination against LGBT women and the harsh reality of the abuse these women suffer. Archbishop Desmond Tutu deemed South Africa the “Rainbow Nation,” a term suggesting the acceptance of all people and beliefs. Yet today, Kheswa reveals, the horrifying practice of “corrective rape” is widespread in the country, police often scorn LGBT victims of abuse, and judges are lenient in punishing offenders. South Africa’s constitution contains safeguards against this kind of discrimination,but as Kheswa warns, words are not enough—they must be enforced to ensure the end of humiliation and violence, and the triumph of tolerance.

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