Sonal Giani is a dynamic activist with over 15 years of experience advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights in India and South Asia. She is a Senior Technical Advisor – Diversity and Inclusion at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), where she provides technical assistance to Member Associations for implementing inclusive strategies and empowerment approaches in the field of SRHR. Sonal has a proven track record of advancing inclusive practices by operationalizing Gender Equality and Diversity and Inclusion policies across the region. Her technical expertise has been instrumental in fostering gender-equitable and LGBTIQ+-friendly SRHR services, information, and education within the broader framework of SRHR.
Sonal is a strong representative of the LGBTQIA+ community in South Asia. She has played a significant role in India’s advocacy efforts towards LGBTQIA+ rights, including the legal fight towards decriminalizing the community and the visibility of the hidden LBT* groups. She began her journey at The Humsafar Trust, India’s oldest LGBTQIA+ rights organization, where she worked as an Advocacy Manager. She has since co-founded several initiatives that work towards the rights of these communities, including Yaariyan – India’s largest LGBTQIA+ youth group, and Umang – A support group for Indian Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transmasculine persons. Sonal has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including the ‘Diversity Leadership Award’ by the World HRD Conference in 2016 and the ‘Queero’ Award by Six Degrees, an LGBTQ Growth Network.
IPPF is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. With 143 locally led organizations, IPPF is dedicated to improving access to comprehensive, client-centered quality healthcare. The organization has experience supporting integrated services at facility and community levels and gender-transformative approaches to increase high-quality, comprehensive, integrated, and responsive services to underserved and marginalized populations. Sonal’s work at IPPF focuses on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in SRHR services and ensuring that all people have access to high-quality health services that respect their rights and dignity. As a global leader in the design and delivery of high-impact family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) interventions, IPPF has been instrumental in supporting Member Associations to implement inclusive strategies and empowerment approaches, foster gender equitable and LGBTIQ+ friendly SRHR services, and increase high-quality, comprehensive, integrated, and responsive services to underserved and marginalized populations.