Empower sex workers — MP

HARARE - Zanu PF Epworth MP Zalerah Makari says government ministries must help sex workers to set up businesses for them to be self-sufficient, if the country is to meet one of the United Nations goals to end HIV and Aids by 2030.

Makari’s remarks come amid an increase in the number of sex workers in the country, owing to the deteriorating social and economic climate with sex trading for as little as 50 cents per session in many parts of the country.

Zimbabwe is grappling to contain the ravaging effects of HIV and Aids, with research showing that 1,6 million people were living with the virus at the end of 2014.

But despite the controversy surrounding the subject, Makari believes it is up to government’s line ministries, technocrats, pastors, lawmakers and politicians to spearhead efforts of giving “sex workers a better way to make a living”.

“When I look at you, my heart bleeds, I am filled with so much hurt,” Makari said as she fought back the tears during her address to sex workers who had gathered in ward six, Epworth on Saturday.

“I can’t promise that I can give all of you jobs . . . some of you have degrees, others have never been in school. I am
going to do my best to ensure that you start your own businesses depending on your level of education.”

The sex workers used the platform to share harrowing experiences they are facing while executing their duties. Many said it is not their desire to be on the streets at night but were being forced by the economic hardships.

“Sometimes we are given 50 cents woti ita hako zvaunoda nemuviri wangu (do as you please with my body). It’s not what you want but the situation pushes you,” said a sex worker only identified as Ruth before opening up on other encounters.

“My daughter was raped when she was 11 by a client that I had brought home,” the tear-drenched mother of four said.

Another sex worker only identified as Joyce said women taking part in the sex trade are faced with a myriad of challenges that range from violence from clients to stigma associated with prostitution, as well as harassment by law enforcement agents.

She said government must assist sex workers in accessing legal and social services.

The sex workers operate at a red-light zone named
Pabooster in Epworth’s ward six where sex is traded on a high scale.

Sex workers in the area book a single house for $5 and take turns to use it when they secure clients.

“Sometimes you beg men to take you so that at least you can have something to give your children,” Joyce said.

“We are stigmatised and people think we enjoy this, but who is going to give me capital to start up a business? Sometimes I feel like I am not going to do this again but again I can’t watch my children starve,” she said.

Comments (4)

vapeyi legai assistance ,isu taimbosvirwawo muHarare wani red light ,vabatsireyi kutiza nzara ya MUGABE.

rosemary shereni margolis - 8 April 2016

vapeyi legai assistance ,isu taimbosvirwawo muHarare wani red light ,vabatsireyi kutiza nzara ya MUGABE.

rosemary shereni margolis - 8 April 2016

It is your party zanu pf Mr MP, through bad governance and policies that has caused this old fashioned vice to be spiral out of control. Prostitution is illegal in this country. No one should identify him or /herself as a sex worker. Believe me, if the route cause of the country's problems are addressed which are well documented, our streets will be clean on long term basis going forward. Zanu pf should stop using hunger as a weapon. There is no will in zanu pf government to restore sanity in the country. Fire brigade type of service will take us nowhere as as a country.

X-MAN IV - 8 April 2016

The predicamnet that thiese ladies are in can be resolved, even in these trying economic times, through a united drive to provide their holistic needs. Skills and sustainable employment can be imparted as decent housing is provided for them, by them. Thus, they become the developers, contractors and beneficiaries. It can be done.

Kariuki Kiragu - 5 August 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.