Sisonke movement slams Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for branding sex workers as victims

File photo: Sex workers have also swarmed into the city, looking to making a killing.

File photo: Sex workers have also swarmed into the city, looking to making a killing.

Published Jul 22, 2020


CAPE TOWN - The Sisonke National Movement of Sex Workers in South Africa said it was “baffled” by the utterances made by former deputy president and current executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the movement said it was shocked after Mlambo-Ngcuka allegedly said in a webinar on Monday that all women within the sex industry were victims and those paying for the services were perpetrators.

This, it said, undermines the work done by the movement and other organisations in trying to decriminalise sex work in South Africa.

“Sisonke National Movement of Sex Workers is baffled that a woman of her (Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka) stature, who has fought for the liberation of women and once served as deputy president of South Africa as the first woman in the country, now bashes women’s rights to decision and aids in stigmatising their efforts to earn an independent living to provide for their families.”

The movement said that had the call to decriminalise sex work been heeded over 20 years ago, sex workers would not be subjected to injustices and gender-based violence.

It said that, just like others, sex workers generate an income and contribute to the economy and the development of the nation.

Sex work is not limited to sexual intercourse but includes various other services between consenting adults, the movement said, adding that it “condemns acts of human trafficking and abuse by those taking advantage of the system for their illegal doings”.

It added they do not under any circumstances work with underage children and trafficked men and women as they are advocates for the safety and health of those working within the sex industry.

African News Agency

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