Rainbow Identity Association

The Rainbow Identity Association is a trans and intersex-led organization working to build strong, active and resilient transgender and intersex communities in Botswana and improve their lived realities. RIA’s programs provide spaces of support and celebration, from running support groups across the country to hosting a signature high-profile annual multi-gender soccer tournament, as well as Trans* and Intersex Pride, the first such pride event on the African continent. Building public support of issues of gender identity, gender expression and bodily diversity is a major priority, and to that end, RIA engages both friendly and hostile sectors such as the women’s movement, progressive human rights movement, religious leaders, traditional leaders and political parties. As a trans feminist organization, they take leadership holding panels and dialogues on the needs of criminalized and marginalized women, bringing together the issues of transgender women, lesbians, sex workers, rural women and domestic workers under one framework. They also engage in advocacy and litigation strategies towards facilitating access to healthcare, achieving legal gender recognition, securing anti-discrimination protections based on gender identity and expression, affirming the right of trans people to retain custody of and adopt children, and ending medical violence against intersex infants.