Priority actions to address economic exclusion of sexual and gender minorities As outlined further below, there is growing evidence about how sexual and gender minorities suffer disproportionately from violence and discriminatory laws, while being marginalized and poorly served in education, health care and social and political inclusion. All these factors can both drive or exacerbate poverty. Nevertheless, very little direct data is found about the economic condition of sexual and gender minorities in developing countries, few initiatives to directly respond to such poverty through policy and programme initiatives and far too little attention to implementation of those few relevant policies that do exist. Beyond action on drivers of poverty as outlined in following sections, donors, policymakers, service providers and activists should consider the actions below. • Improve data collection (disaggregated by sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and intersex status) related to income, housing, access to social protection, existence and utilization of workplace protections against discrimination and associations between sexual and gender minority inclusion and economic growth. • Invest in more structured programme design for the few existing pilot projects directly addressing poverty and economic disadvantage among sexual and gender minorities to facilitate evaluation, learning and knowledge exchange about what does and doesn’t work. • Include attention to sexual and gender minorities when conducting needs assessments and designing programmes to address poverty, as well as ensuing that implementation partners are sensitized to and inclusive of such minorities. UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 24 25 • Consult and respond to sexual and gender minorities in research and programmes related to transactional sex and sex work, respecting the agency and choices of people involved, and increasing their capacity to find routes out of poverty, whether through sex work or other means. • Review and audit social protection, financial inclusion and other large-scale antipoverty initiatives to identify and address unconscious or accidental bias against sexual and gender minorities, particularly through definitions of households and relationships. • Recognize and promote the contribution of diversity and tolerance to economic growth in a wide variety of industries. • Advance employment rights, particularly by prohibiting workplace discrimination related to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. • Foster business networks and business policy that recognizes and celebrates diversity, particularly in business sectors not traditionally associated with sexual and gender minority employees and in countries with high levels of homo/ transphobia. • Recognize and capitalize on the desire and capacity of many sexual and gender minorities to establish their own businesses for a variety of reasons, including to avoid homophobia in other workplaces, and foster such businesses through mentoring and networking initiatives that connect young entrepreneurs to more established and experienced sexual and gender minority business leaders.