Salzburg Global Fellow Awarded "Alternative Nobel Prize"

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Oct 07, 2015
by Heather Jaber
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Salzburg Global Fellow Awarded "Alternative Nobel Prize"

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera won Sweden's Right Livelihood Award for her work on LGBT rights in Uganda 

Salzburg Global LGBT Forum Fellow Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera has once again been recognized for her work on LGBT rights in Uganda. The award is timely, considering the UN’s recent historic joint statement against LGBT discrimination around the world.

Nabagesera won Sweden's Right Livelihood Award, a kind of “Alternative Nobel Prize” which recognizes those who do inspiring or courageous work to combat social issues. Since its inception 35 years ago, there have been 162 recipients from 67 countries.

Still, at least 76 countries around the world persecute individuals in same-sex relationships. Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act was annulled on a technicality last year, although the LGBT community still faces legal discrimination and stigmatization. Nabagesera has gained global recognition for using the judicial system to fight institutionalized homophobia and discriminatory laws in Uganda.

The joint statement made by the UN not only highlights the kinds of discriminations LGBT communities face in the legal and social sphere, but offers practical steps for governments all over the world to combat these issues.

Nabagesera has helped combat problematic media practices and legal injustice towards the LGBT community in Uganda. She co-founded Uganda’s first LGBT publication and also helped initiate media campaigns to raise awareness about LGBT issues and dispel stereotypes. Despite having been arrested and beaten during her work, she continues to campaign as a voice for her community. This past June, she was featured on the cover of Time magazine's Europe edition. 

The Fellow spoke of the link between politics and activism to combat discrimination at the Founding gathering Global LGBT Forum 2013. At the subsequent session in 2014, she spoke of dealing with the government crackdown on activists in Uganda. Most recently, Nabagesera attended the 2015 session, Strengthening Communities: LGBT Rights & Social Cohesion.