APCOM and Babaylanes, our Philippine country partner for Finance Inc., met with Asian Development Bank representatives to discuss opportunities for engagements and partnerships on LGBTQI inclusion last December 18, 2018.
The meetings were opportunities for APCOM to introduce Finance Inc., a project which aims to engage financial institutions including the Asian Development Bank on LGBTQI inclusion. APCOM was able to meet with the gender and development teams from the ADB headquarters, Philippine Country Office, and the Southeast Asia Gender Anchor. APCOM also had meetings with the NGO and Civil Society Center, and the Executive Director for Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden.
Future activities which can contribute to LGBTQI inclusion were discussed during the meetings including a panel discussion to coincide with the commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in May 2019. Possible participation of Babaylanes in some ADB activities are also being planned. Also in the pipeline are longer term engagements including workshops and sessions on sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).
Finance Inc. is being implemented by APCOM with country partner organizations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, and the Philippines with the support of VOICE. The project will will develop a range of approaches to help community organisations engage with multilateral financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve their policies and practices in relation to LGBT people and communities, taking learnings from the World Bank which has a dedicated Global Adviser on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI).
APCOM would like to thank the Asian Development Bank representatives and offices we were able to meet with for their openness to discuss and LGBTQI inclusion.