International Women’s Day… a reflection

As many of you may know today is International Women’s Day (IWD), so in this week’s Keep Safe update we would like to reflect on the meaning of this special day for sex workers. IWD started to recognize the paid work of women– teachers, artists, lawyers, soldiers, civilians, doctors, nurses, cooks, migrants, sex workers, and more. Yet, it is often women who are the culprits and formulators of anti-sex work dialogue and anti-prostitution agendas, which do greater harm (literally and metaphorically) to women engaged in sex work. The hatred of women who engage in sex work further perpetuates the isolation, stigmatization, and social norms that feed notions that they– mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, children, lovers, and friends– are disposable.

Isabel and Vanessa met with two amazing women from one of our partner organizations (PACE) in Vancouver this week and had a very lively discussion full of scenarios, great ideas, information, and feedback from the perspective of former street-based sex trade workers. They liked the devices we brought to give them an idea of what we intend to pilot and they were very excited to get some focus groups together when we launch the devices.

Your help is still needed to make this project a success! We hope to schedule our first focus groups in late Spring, so please consider donating to Keep Safe.

We leave you with a quote by Melinda Gates, a staunch advocate for sex workers and HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment:

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”

In Solidarity,

The Keep Safe Team

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