IDAHOBIT 2023: Everyone belongs in our unions!

published 17 May 2023 updated 20 March 2024

On May 17th, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Education International (EI) renews its commitment to human rights, respect, social justice, dignity for all, and solidarity.

Statement by EI General Secretary David Edwards

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, Education International, the voice of over 32 million educators worldwide through 383 member organisations, reaffirms its support and efforts to create safe and inclusive schools, universities, and other educational settings for learners and teachers in all their diversity.

Safe schools are those where all educators and students can feel and be free from discrimination, threats, and violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

As teachers, education support personnel, trade unionists, and human rights defenders, we play a critical role in promoting inclusion and diversity in our schools, and protecting the fundamental rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex members and students.

As trade unions and members of the global community, we have played an important role in promoting inclusion and diversity in the workplace and will continue to work to protect our LGBTI members.

Around the world, many of our affiliates have taken up the duty to defend LGBTI members. Unions have negotiated collective agreements, advocated for inclusive curriculum, and celebrated Pride with the LGBTI community. Importantly, EI and our unions continue to urge governments to go public and fully fund inclusive education!

The trade union values of solidarity and mutuality mean that our unions, our movement, our struggle include LGBTI workers, as their rights are human rights.

But there is still much work to do, as a rise of political leaders who fuel anti-LGBTI rhetoric and violence seek to divide us. However, as this year’s theme reaffirms, we are “Together always: united in diversity”.

Everyone belongs in our unions.