Gender & Sexuality Justice

Amnesty International USA fights for women’s rights, LGBTQI+ rights, and the rights of all to enjoy their sexual and reproductive rights.


Last updated on July 14, 2023

Take Action Now

10 Actions

By Time Commitment

  • North Carolina: Abortion Is A Human Right

    5 min


    5 min


    5 min


    5 min

  • It’s Long Past Time: End Violence Against Women!

    5 min

  • Stop The Roll Back On Human Rights In Afghanistan

    5 min

  • North Carolina: Abortion Is A Human Right

    5 min

  • Act Now: Trans Rights Are Human Rights

    5 min

  • Stop The Abortion Bans And Protect The Right To Abortion Care

    5 min

  • Tell Facebook: Stop Censoring Reproductive Rights Information

    5 min


What’s the Problem?

All people should be able to enjoy the full range of human rights, without exception.  

However, every day, across the globe, people face discrimination and violence because of their sex, gender, or sexuality, or their perceived sex, gender, or sexuality.  

We all have the right to make decisions about our own health, body, sexuality, and reproductive life, without fear, coercion, violence, or discrimination. But, people’s freedom to make these decisions and their ability to access their rights are often controlled by the state, medical professionals, or even their own families.

Women and girls around the world routinely face unequal treatment and violence. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other gender-non-conforming people face stigma and criminalization. 

We all have the right to make decisions about who we are and what we want to do with our lives. Yet all over the world, many are persecuted for making their own choices and many more are prevented from making any choices at all.

Discrimination against women and LGBTQI+ people and the denial of sexual and reproductive rights are rooted in unequal power relationships and the attempt to control people’s bodies and choices.

Why Is It An Issue?

Governments have a legal obligation to protect people from discrimination and violence. 

When governments fail to protect people, Amnesty International is there helping to ensure that all people can live in dignity, safety, and freedom. 

People have very different experiences based on their sex, gender, or sexual orientation– and the fact is that women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people often face discrimination that means they do not have equal access to their rights. Our work encompasses a range of human rights as they relate to the rights of women and girls, LGBTQ+ people, and sexual and reproductive rights for all.

What is the solution?

In order for all of us to participate in our communities and enjoy human rights, we need the ability to live free from discrimination and with full access to our sexual and reproductive rights– and to make decisions about our lives, bodies, and identities without fear.

Women’s rights are human rights, yet women and girls around the world experience violence and discrimination throughout their lifetimes. Violence and discrimination against women and girls stem from social norms that value them less than men and boys and prevent women and girls from enjoying their human rights. While such violence and discrimination impact all women and girls, intersectional factors, such as educational or economic status, race, caste, ethnic origin, sexual identity, age and abilities exacerbate the challenges many women face.

Women’s Rights

Being able to make our own decisions about our health, body and sexual life is a human right. Whoever you are, wherever you live, you have the right to make choices about your body, health, and sexual life without fear, violence, or discrimination. A backlash against sexual and reproductive rights is brewing at home and around the world as governments seek to restrict our choices and criminalize our identities.​

Sexual & Reproductive Rights

Around the world, people are under attack for who they are. People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex (LGBTQI) face threats to their lives in many countries across the globe. LGBTQI+ people face discrimination and violence from both state and non-state actors. LGBTQI+ people globally should be able to live lives of dignity and fully enjoy all their human rights, including their right to life, freedom and safety.

LGBTQI+ Rights

SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA – AUGUST 17: People walk by fresh graffiti depicting Vladimir Putin in Simferopol on August 17, 2015 in Simferopol, Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill in March 2014 to annex the Crimean peninsula but Ukraine and most of the international community do not recognize its annexation. (Photo by Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)
Arms Control, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defenders, Individuals At Risk, LGBTQI+ Rights, National Security  

Amnesty International USA urges the State Department to protect human rights in Ukraine as the risk of further conflict with Russia grows

February 16, 2022 | Government Relations

A vehicle of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) drives on the Moroccan side of the border crossing point between Morocco and Mauritania in Guerguerat located in the Western Sahara, on November 25, 2020, after the intervention of the royal Moroccan armed forces in the area. – Morocco in early November accused the Polisario Front of blocking the key highway for trade with the rest of Africa, and launched a military operation to reopen it. (Photo by Fadel SENNA / AFP) (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Arms Control, Freedom of Expression, Gender & Sexuality Justice, Human Rights Defenders, Indigenous Rights, Individuals At Risk, National Security, Refugee and Migrant Rights, Women’s Rights  

Amnesty International Calls on Biden Administration to Push For Western Sahara Human Rights Monitoring in UN Resolution

October 19, 2021 | Fair Trials

MSF supported hospital bombed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Haydan in Sa’da. The small hospital, in the Haydan district in Saada Province, was hit by several airstrikes beginning at 22:30 last night. Hospital staff and two patients managed to escape before subsequent airstrikes occurred over a two hour period. One staff member was slightly injured while escaping. With the hospital destroyed, at least 200,000 people now have no access to lifesaving medical care.
Arms Control, Freedom of Expression, Gender & Sexuality Justice, Guantanamo, Human Rights Defenders, Individuals At Risk, National Security, Police and Human Rights  

Amnesty International USA Calls on Congress to Prioritize Human Rights in National Defense Authorization Act Legislation

September 23, 2021 | Government Relations

Afghan women’s rights activists demonstrate against the controversial law for Afghanistan which regulates the personal affairs of minority Shia community, 15 April 2009. The law included discriminatory provisions, including restrictions on women’s freedom of movement. The law has since been revised.
Freedom of Expression, Gender & Sexuality Justice, Human Rights Defenders, Individuals At Risk, National Security, Refugee and Migrant Rights, Women’s Rights  

Amnesty-Co-Chaired Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally calls on President Biden to Urgently Increase Efforts to Support Afghan Women and Girls, Evacuate Women’s Rights Defenders

August 27, 2021 | children’s rights

TOPSHOT – Iraqi protesters clash with security forces on the Sinak bridge during a demonstration in the capital Baghdad on October 25, 2020, marking the first anniversary of a mass anti-government movement. – Iraqi security forces and protesters clashed in Baghdad during demonstrations to mark the first anniversary of mass anti-government protests demanding the ouster of the ruling class. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)
Arms Control, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defenders, Individuals At Risk, National Security, Police and Human Rights, Refugee and Migrant Rights, Sexual & Reproductive Rights  

Amnesty International Calls on President Biden to Address Repression, Human Rights Abuses in Iraq in Meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi

July 23, 2021 | advocacy