Spotlight on International Women’s Day: Part 2

“With the constitution in our hearts,” Menaka Guruswamy tweeted, “we go to our court to seek to remove a colonial stain on our collective national conscience. Section 377, your time has come.”

The time had come, indeed. Section 377 of the Indian penal code dated back to 1861, when Britain still ruled India.

Spearheading the legal battle against the code, which discriminated against non-heterosexual relationships and could enforce a penalty of up to 10 years in prison in addition to a fine, two powerful public-interest litigators – Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju – led a committed fight for justice. The result was a landmark Supreme Court judgement that changed the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community in the country. The historic decision decriminalized same-sex relations and kicked off a trend in other governments around the world.

After their victory in 2019, in an interview with CNN, the two lawyers came out as a couple for the first time, sharing that the ruling was not just a professional win, but also a personal one.

Making a global impact, now others are citing the couple’s historic win as precedent in the battle against anti-LGBT laws in Kenya. And that’s just the start.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “choose to challenge.” Because from challenge comes change. Like the abolition of Section 377.

Meeting the challenges, together

In my last blog post, I talked about Hyland’s Pride Alliance (HPA) group and how we promote awareness, culture, and community. As we look to expand the group globally, we are met with the challenges of country-specific regulations.

While there are challenges to expanding globally, we are ready. We draw on the strength and courage of the people who have led the way – people like Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju.

We know there are members of the LGBTQIA+ community in all countries around the world. That’s why we must promote and leverage the legal wins in countries where being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is still taboo and, in certain countries, illegal.

Being the change, together

I’ve seen the change firsthand. In December 2017, I was in Sydney, Australia, when the country made marriage equality legal. The level of support across the city displayed visually on businesses and in the media was overwhelming. It was also the first vacation where my wife felt comfortable holding my hand when walking around in public.

As President of the HPA, it is my goal to have chapters in every region where Hyland employees reside. With offices in more than 35 cities around the world, it’s a lofty goal. But it’s important to have a welcoming community for all employees, especially since HPA exists to support parents, friends, and family members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Hyland Pride Alliance is committed to supporting all LGBTQIA+ members of Hyland’s family who live in fear of being themselves and bringing their whole selves to work every day. We’re ready to challenge that.

So, as we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, let’s all #ChooseToChallenge. Because from challenge comes change. Together.

Rebecca Scina

Rebecca Scina

Rebecca Scina has been a Hylander since 2008. In her current role as a cloud delivery manager for the Customer Success Team, she manages new high-profile hosted customer engagements, existing... read more about: Rebecca Scina

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