Achieving gender equality is one of the global goals defined by the United Nations, together with empowering all women and girls. Everyone is entitled to equal treatment, opportunities and the right to live in safety. But even today, the LGBTIQ+ community still needs to fight for their rights in some parts of the world. For 50 years the Pride movement has advanced LGBTIQ+ rights, but this year COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of Pride marches around the world. This spurred the launch of the first online Global Pride event.
Homosexuality is considered a criminal offence in 70 countries around the world, in some prosecution can lead to life imprisonment or the death penalty. Guaranteeing equal rights for all LGBTIQ+ people can only be achieved through cooperation, nationally and internationally. To achieve this objective at home, the Dutch government works together with various parties, from parents to trade unions and from media to local authorities. Internationally, the Netherlands joined forces with Uruguay in 2016 to set up the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC). Today, 42 countries have joined the Coalition.
The ERC works closely with civil society, multilateral partners and UN agencies, especially through groups focused on international and regional diplomacy, LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the coordination of donor funding and national laws, policies and practices
Global pride 2020
Like many other signatories of the ERC, the Netherlands celebrates the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) every year on the 17 May. But the gripping impact of COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary for Pride organisations worldwide to cancel marches and events.
But there is a rainbow after every storm. To enable the LGBTIQ+ community around the world to still come together and celebrate diversity and equality, Global Pride 2020 will hold a 24-hour online event on 27 June 2020.
Global Pride 2020 was launched on 1 April this year, thanks to a partnership between InterPride, the European Pride Organisers Association and national Pride networks in several countries. The event will be led by volunteers from every region of the world; all committed to ensuring everyone can participate in the event.
Forces for change
The Dutch contestant of the recently held Eurovision Song Festival, Jeangu Macrooy will take part in Global Pride 2020, joining international artists such as Adam Lambert and Melanie C. The Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema will also participate alongside the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, former US Vice President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Promoting equal rights for the LGBTIQ+ community is one of the Netherlands foreign policy priorities. As the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders said in his speech at the launch of the ERC, ‘The future can be as bright as a rainbow – but only if we join forces for change.’