Johannesburg Protestors Demand For Legalization Of Prostitution.
Over 200 sex workers have taken to the streets of Johannesburg on Thursday, to request the legalization of prostitution.
“This is what I wear to work,” Dudu Dlamini, clad in hiking boots and a long dress, told AFP. “No high heels or short skirts.”
“It requires expertise and skills you have no idea about,” she added.
“I purchased my own house out of sex work,” said Constance Mathe, who has been in the profession for 16 years.
According to Mathe, who is a mother of two, she previously worked as a domestic worker, where she made 1,000 Rands monthly.
SWEAT Group And Their Advocacy In Johannesburg
About 120,000 to 180,000 sex workers are currently operating in South Africa, according to some aid organizations.
But the country’s prostitution laws date back to the apartheid era and punish sex workers and their clients.
“Sex work is work, not a crime,” Dlamini said at the protest.
Around her, the group advanced with signs held aloft reading “Where is the crime?” and “Decrime sex work now”.
A group of the protestors rallied the streets, with their faces covered and flanked by moving police cars.
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“The police harass us and ask us for money. And sex workers who are abused by their clients cannot just go to the police station and file a case, because they would be prosecuted for being sex workers,” explains Yonela Sinqu of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT).
According to this organization, sex workers are often abused and raped by their clients. SWEAT also says, nearly 10 sex workers are murdered each year, however, the cases go unreported.