Sex workers have been fighting for the right to work freely in South Africa and feel safe while doing so.
Activist, academic and artist Nomsa Mazwai is the founder of an NPO called #FunkItImWalking, an organisation whose sole aim is to make the streets safer for women to walk at any time of day in any condition, has joined forces with organisations SWEAT and Sisonke in bringing the plight of sex workers to the forefront in a bid to decriminalise sex work.
“It is 2021 and sex work is still criminalised under the Sexual Offences Act that was drafted during the apartheid era. Sex workers autonomously choose to do this work; they are providers– mothers, fathers, caregivers, taxpayers and should be treated as such. Sex work must be recognised as work! Sex workers rights should be part of labour rights, join the walk to make the government take note and change the Sexual Offences Act.” commented Dudu Dlamini – SWEAT Advocacy Manager.
“Sex worker rights should be part of labour rights. The extent of structural, sexual and physical violence sex workers face links to sex workers’ rights not recognised as part of labour rights.”
This is walk is important to highlight challenges faced by sex workers, to improve their quality of life, to ensure a safe working environment, address the risks of human trafficking and the need for sex workers to have access to the justice system to address violence and abuse from clients, the police, intimate partners as well as brothel owners.
#FunkItImWalking is taking back the power of the streets for women. It is demanding safety for sex workers and any woman who is walking to work, the store or exercising in a country where femicide is one of the biggest concerns and women are not safe.
“Funk It Im Walking aims to make it safe for a woman to walk at any time of day in any condition. Injury to one is injury to all. If sex workers are not safe, none of us are safe. Sex workers are especially vulnerable because when they are victims of illegal acts of violence, they cannot seek assistance or protection from law enforcement. We knew this is a call we could definitely support, as it enables a situation where women are safe to walk,” says Nomsa.
Join the walk on Thursday the 27th of May as hundreds of women and men walk in heels from Johannesburg CBD to Hillbrow in solidarity with sex workers in decriminalising sex work. We have advocates/activists, political figures, celebrities, the general public, and over one hundred sex workers taking part.
Nomsa and her team do walks in various parts of Johannesburg to highlight how valuable safety is for women and the community at large. Safety is valuable.
Registration is required to receive information about the meeting point to ensure COVID compliance and crowd control.
Date: 27th of May
Time: 11:00 to 13:00
Register for the walk here: www.funkitimwalking.co.za, #FunkItImWalking, let’s walk to freedom.