PRETORIA, 13 December 2021 – The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) wishes to congratulate the SANAC Co-Chairperson, Ms. Steve Letsike, for her appointment as Chair of the Commonwealth Equality Network.
The Commonwealth Equality Network – or TCEN is a global community of civil society organisations working to uphold human rights of LGBTI+ people across the Commonwealth of Nations.
Much like the Commonwealth itself, the membership of the Network is mostly made up of organisations in low, middle and high-income countries. The spread of members – many of them in existence for more than ten years – shows a widespread and longstanding constituency of support for LGBTI+ rights within the Commonwealth and demonstrates the importance of civil society in diplomatic, policy and governance in leading the way on challenging homophobia and transphobia.
Ms. Letsike says “I am looking forward to creating pathways for change where those pathways don’t exist. To challenge power structures, disrupt injustices and narratives of the past, and work with heads of governments, lawmakers, the public and private sectors, other civil society movements and partners to demand accountability and create positive and enduring change for LGBTI+ people.”
SANAC wishes her well in this role and has full confidence that she will execute it with distinction. During her tenure, SANAC hopes that she will prioritise matters of human rights and the protection of vulnerable and marginalized populations. SANAC Congratulates her and the rest of the Management Committee elected during the recent Global Annual General Meeting.
About Ms. Steve Letsike
Ms Letsike is a well-known activist, not only within the LGBTI sector but also on issues of feminism, human rights and social justice. Among other roles, she currently serves as the Co-Chairperson of SANAC, a seat that represents the voice of national civil society sectors in SANAC structures. She also co-chairs the National Task Team on Hate Crimes, an initiative by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and is the Founding Executive Director of Access Chapter 2, a human rights organisation with a specific focus on LGBTI persons, women and girls in all their diversities including addressing issues of gender equity.
She has over 16 years in high level policy development experience nationally and internationally. She previously have worked with organisations such as OUT LGBT Well Being, Anova Health, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Department of Social Development.
About The Commonwealth Equality Network
Established in 2013, The Commonwealth Equality Network – or TCEN – is a network of organisations challenging inequality based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. The Network was set up to give a global voice to LGBTI+ communities across the Commonwealth and to support joint advocacy to provide an answer to the colonial legacy of homophobia – a Commonwealth solution to a Commonwealth problem.
About The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)
The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) is a national body established by the cabinet of the South African Government to build consensus across government, civil society and all other stakeholders to drive an enhanced country response to HIV, TB and STIs.
The Council is chaired by the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa – currently the Honourable David Mabuza.
For further information and interviews please contact: Nelson Dlamini, SANAC Communications on 078 731 0313 / firstname.lastname@example.org