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‘How Long Do We Have To Wait?’

Inclusive and Intersectional Sexual and Reproductive Health Resources for all Nigerians

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Discriminatory legislation and stigma in Nigeria have made sexual and reproductive health (SRH) resources inaccessible to queer persons with disabilities, advocates say. Though Nigeria’s 2019 Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act mandates full inclusion of persons with disabilities, those experiencing intersecting identities – such as non-heteronormative sexual orientation –  are not fully protected. Same-sex sexual relationships have been criminalized in Nigeria since 2013 and are punishable by up to 14 years in prison. A 2014 prospective study found that after this criminalization of same-sex relationships, gay men reported significantly greater reluctance to seek HIV prevention and treatment services. In response to this inequity, disability advocates are fighting for intersectional health care for all Nigerians. “The concept of intersectionality is leaving no one behind, irrespective of your disability, your HIV status, your sexual orientation, your gender, ethnicity, or religion,” says Eleanora Boyo, a disability advocate with low vision. “It’s just basically being for all.”

Editing assistance by Ziyu Peng

Photo of Benedicta Oyedayo Oyewole.

Filmmaker: Benedicta Oyedayo Oyewole

Benedicta Oyedayo Oyewole is an intersectional feminist passionate about disability and women's rights. Working and living at the nexus of multiple identities, she is interested in the interconnectedness of sexuality, disability, climate, and gender justice. She currently works as a program officer of diversity and inclusion at the Women's Health and Equal Rights (WHER) Initiative, a nonprofit focused on promoting the rights and well-being of lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women in Nigeria. Her dream is to travel the world, document, and explore how the multiplicities of our identities - sexuality, gender, ability, presentation, and upbringing - shape how we engage with and think about ‘desire.’

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