In countries where it is illegal to be a lesbian, they face violence, forced marriages and so-called ‘corrective rape’.In a groundbreaking new report in the lead-up to International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), this is the first time a report has given an in-depth analysis of how laws against homosexuality specifically impact lesbians and bisexual women.Produced by the Human Dignity Trust, it found one in four countries it is illegal to be a gay or bisexual women. But most concerning, these numbers have been on the rise in the past 15 years. At least 10 jurisdictions, including in places like Sri Lanka, have rewritten laws that once only targeted gay and bisexual men to also discriminate and persecute lesbians.
Lesbians are more likely to be at an economic disadvantage because of gender discrimination, meaning they are unable to resist family pressures, leave abusive situations or live independently of a male partner according to the report.The overlap between the discrimination these women face because of sexual orientation, and the way their freedom is limited by their gender, means they facing two kinds of different human rights abuses. The report, Breaking The Silence, found countries with greater gender equality was less likely to criminalize homosexuality in any form.