Sex workers drawn from Kenya, and South Africa, joined the recently held Women’s March that was marked globally on January 21, 2017.
The Women’s March was a worldwide protest in support of women’s rights and other causes including immigration reform, health care reform, protection of the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights.
Taking advantage of the march, ASWA member organisations, the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance(KESWA), and Sisonke National Movement in South Africa, mobilised sex workers to mark the march in their countries.
In Nairobi, KESWA, together with other women, and human rights organisations organised the Women’s March in Nairobi, while Sisonke joined other human rights activists, feminists, and women’s groups to mark the day.
ASWA’s Regional Coordinator, Dorothy Ogutu, welcomed the participation of sex workers in the marches saying that for long, sex workers were often not recognised in mainstream social justice, or feminist movements, and this has changed.
‘Significantly, we are seeing more women, and feminist movements acknowledging (African) sex workers as part of their movements, and in doing so, recognising the tremendous support they (sex workers) are lending to causes around equality, access to justice, and right to sexual and reproductive health, among others.’
Marches occurred worldwide, with 168 in 81 other countries being reported. Other reports put the marches at 673 worldwide.