Sex workers’ asks and the origin of the International Women’s Day

Today, March 8, we mark the 112th International Women’s Day, observed under the theme “Women together for peace and development in the digital age”.

We celebrate all cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers in this 112th International Women’s Day.

Peace is vital to allowing cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers to live in harmony, without discrimination and enjoy their full right.

Cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers are a driving force that contribute to economic growth. They have the opportunity to exercise their rights, develop knowledge, skills and techniques that are the foundation of participating in national and regional markets.

Cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex worker’s participation at all levels ensure they have the right and the opportunity to be elected as representatives and participate in developing the national economy and society in a manner that is sustainable and inclusive.

In 1908, about 15,000 garment workers from New York U.S.A staged a strike to protest poor working conditions and pay. The event set the stage for the first National Women’s Day, dated Feb. 28, 1909

Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.

African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) Regional Coordinator Grace Kamau calls for the inclusion of sex workers in digital technology spaces as well as their rights protected in the digital technology platforms.

African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) Regional Coordinator: Grace Kamau

Africa Leadership Sex Workers Academy (ALESWA) Coordinator, Grace Nyarath urges all cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers, ‘’To embrace technology which will help in improving sex work and elevate it to the next level.

Africa Leadership Sex Workers Academy (ALESWA) Coordinator: Grace Nyarath

Criminalising sex work is a particularly core feminist issue because it disproportionately affects sex workers who are cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers. It’s for this reason that decriminalisation of sex work is an issue that should be given attention on the international Women’s Day.

ASWA would like to mark the Day by calling and encouraging the governments and relevant partners to secure the protection of their rights and benefits as well as maintaining their values and dignity, as well as offer the opportunity to cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers to participate and benefit in the digital age for their prosperity and happiness.

We have to ensure that strengthening gender equality remains a priority task because it is necessary for cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers in all contexts to achieve full and equal opportunity in all aspects of the political, economic and social spheres and exercise equal rights.

 We also call for the prevention of violence in all forms against cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers through the implementation of action plans and to expand the scope and quality of services to rescue victims of gender based and intimate partner violence and provide them with free legal services and strengthen the implementation of laws.

We also highlight the inadequate working conditions faced by cisgender, trans and gender non-conforming women sex workers in Africa; forced to work in illegal and therefore dangerous circumstances due to the punitive laws.

We are calling for the full decriminalisation of sex work and recognition of sex work as labour.

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