Cape Town to Host First International Pride Awards


Heroes of the world’s LGBTIQ+ equality movement will be celebrated at the first International Pride Awards, which will be held in Cape Town in November.

The awards were announced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ILGA World (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association).

The initiative aims to “recognise and celebrate the remarkable contributions of LGBTIQ+ equality heroes around the world,” said ILGA World in a statement.

Queer Activists Making Change, Despite the Risk

The organisation noted that millions of LGBTIQ+ people continue to suffer discrimination, marginalisation, poverty, violence, incarceration, and even loss of life solely because of who they are.

In 62 countries, consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults in private are criminalised, with 7 of these countries imposing the death penalty for such acts.

Nevertheless, across the globe, there are courageous and visionary advocates for equality who are effecting positive change – through ground-breaking initiatives – and often at great risk to themselves.

The International Pride Awards seek to shine a light on their work, tell their stories, and inspire more people to advocate for equality.

“At a time when we are witnessing a backlash against LGBTIQ+ people and human rights in many countries that threatens progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and the pledge to leave no one behind, it is crucial to recognise and celebrate individuals who have dedicated themselves to creating a more inclusive and just world for all,” said Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of the HIV and Health Group at UNDP.

Award Ceremony to be Held in Cape Town

Nominations for the International Pride Awards will be open from 1 June for the whole of June, inviting members of the public to nominate individuals whose tireless efforts have made a significant impact in advancing equality and inclusion of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The 2024 award categories are: 1) Movement building in the face of hostility; 2) Celebrating diverse lives; 3) Emerging leader; 4) Lifelong pursuit of equality; and 5) Extraordinary ally.

This year’s awardees will be announced at an event on 13 November 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa, during the 31st ILGA World Conference.

The ceremony is expected to bring together global leaders, activists, and advocates to honour the resilience and achievements of LGBTIQ+ equality champions from diverse backgrounds and regions.

Awardees will be selected by an Awards Committee, made up of 11 highly experienced LGBTIQ+ campaigners, advocates, academics, and non-governmental organisation and civil society leaders.

“Through the International Pride Awards, we hope to amplify the voices of LGBTIQ+ communities worldwide and reaffirm our commitment to building a future where everyone can live in equality and freedom, and can thrive without fear of discrimination,” said Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of ILGA World.

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