Non-governmental organization (NGO), Tunisia
Mawjoudin is an officially registered not-for-profit NGO based in Tunisia, and works towards achieving equality, human rights, bodily rights and sexual rights for the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized groups and individuals through advocacy, documentation, capacity building, awareness-raising, building safe spaces and lobbying.
Their approach is inclusive. Adopting a decentralized approach in their work to include people coming from different backgrounds, Mawjoudin supports peoples from different age groups, genders, sexual orientations and different cities and remote areas across Tunisia.
The vision is to spread human rights culture throughout the MENA to ensure all peoples are able to live in a society where discrimination on the basis of SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression and Sex Characteristics) does not exist. Further, Mawjoudin seeks to live in a society that promotes integrity, dignity, celebrates differences and appreciates all forms of love.
Mawjoudin’s aim to promote diversity and non-discrimination to combat oppression. They are dedicated to defending the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals so that they can live openly in a culture that respects and values their dignity.
Goals / objectives
Mawjoudin main objectives:
– Raising awareness about SOGIESC related issues, human rights, and sexual and bodily rights through campaigning, advocacy, workshops, lobbying, art and culture.
– Providing safe spaces mainly for LGBTQIA+ individuals, allies and other marginalized groups to share, discuss, learn and build their capacities in diversity-friendly contexts.
– Documenting acts of violence on the basis of SOGIESC and violations against LGBTQIA+ individuals and other marginalized groups.
– Improving the well-being of LGBTQIA+ individuals through providing medical, legal and psychosocial support.
– Improving public opinion about sexual rights, bodily rights and SOGIESC rights, through media campaigns and awareness-raising workshops.
– Advocating and lobbying to change the legal frameworks through which LGBTQIA+ individuals and other marginalized groups are persecuted, including article 230.
– Empowering marginalized groups and LGBTQIA+ individuals through capacity building workshops, and group discussions.
– Creating safe communities and supporting networks for LGBTQIA+ individuals and other marginalized groups, through the provision of safe spaces and the creation of a referrals system for LGBTQIA+ friendly services.
– Building bridges between different LGBTQIA+ groups and communities across the country, in order to unify the message of rights.
Main programs / services
This project aims at helping Queer asylum seekers and migrants in the process of applying for asylum by helping them to integrate into the Tunisian territory. Within the framework of this project, Mawjoudin produced a national guide for refugees and asylum seekers who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This guide provides necessary information on the asylum application procedure, the legal situation of the LGBTQIA+ persons as well as useful addresses and contacts. This guide is available in Arabic, English, and French.
The Maghreb Queer Coalition
The coalition was created in 2018 after a meeting held in Tunisia with organizations and individuals from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. We do not exclude Mauritania however, the actual context does not allow for organizations / individuals potentially interested in doing so.
The coalition is non-profit, non-governmental organization which hosts meetings organized in the latter countries, which are accessible to people involved in the coalition. Meetings can also be virtual. The region in which we are located is divided into countries after a process of colonization /administrative division that we denounce to this day. We have specificities and common identities therefore, we believe that we need to be united.
The idea to create the coalition came from a specific need for representation. Countries and the regions we represent are excluded and unrepresented in the international human rights movements, the MENA region and particularly, the countries of the North.
The LILO IDENTITY workshop is a 3-day workshop for anyone who identifies as an LGBTQIA+ person or who identifies as a non-normative gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and/or sex characteristics. This workshop is a personalized approach to explore gender identity and sexual orientation which provides a support process for LGBTQIA+ peoples in the region. LILO Identity allows participants to safely reflect on sexuality and gender by looking in and out at their experiences and within themselves, as an introspective experience.
A three-day workshop focused on allies to the queer community. This workshop is based on a personalized approach aimed at better understanding sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).
A system of care based mainly on listening and orientation. Mawjoudin provides legal, medical, psychological and digital security support for target populations. In specific cases, we help with housing and offer social support. LILO counseling also has a green line available 2 days a week for beneficiaries to call when needed (mainly for listening), in addition to an emergency number available 24/7.
Advocacy MENA Project
This project aims to guarantee access to justice for LGBTQIA+ individuals by giving lawyers tools of legal defense in court, properly documenting violations, and improving communication between lawyers and activists.
Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival (MQFF)
This is the first queer film festival in the country and in all of North Africa. The festival focuses mainly on the issue of non-normative gender and sexuality, thus breaking taboos around these topics. In addition to presenting films (documentaries, fictions, and animations), the festival includes concerts, panel discussions, workshops, artistic performances, fashion shows, exhibition of artistic works, etc.
During the Mawjoudin queer film festival, Mawjoudin produces music videos and short films for public consumption. In addition, Mawjoudin also hosts many exhibitions throughout the year with young artists from Tunisia’s LGBTQIA+ community (painters, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, etc).
Activities within Universities
Activities within Mawjoudin:
Weekly popular dance classes
Weekly contemporary dance class
Weekly yoga class
Weekly self-defense course for women
Weekly language courses (French, English, Spanish)
Book club ” we exist in books “
Queer Listening and Speaking Group ‘ hkeyet tachtouchia”.
LILO Identity Sessions
LILO Connect Sessions
Sessions of LILO women
Drama therapy Session
Digital security workshops
Workshops on sexual and reproductive health
Workshops on forms of addiction
Workshops on intersectionality and gender-based violence
Activities within the universities (Tunis, Bizerte, Sousse and Sfax )
Sessions to welcome new members to Mawjoudin
“Cinexist” film club in Mawjoudin and with the partnership of some clubs in universities
Queer Listening and Speaking Group