Durban – Sex work is transactional and should be defined that way, meaning the term commercial sex work is preferred over prostitution, according to an expert in the field.
“A sex worker gets money for the services she provides, it is transactional, there is supply and demand. The word prostitution is derogatory because what sex workers do is work, it should be called commercial sex work,” according to Jan Thathiah of LifeLine Durban.
Thathiah was speaking at a public discussion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College Theatre on Wednesday afternoon, which addressed “Sex work in South Africa: Implications for sexual violence and public health”.
Thathiah is also the former head of the Sex Worker Programme for the Global Fund in the Ugu district and former head of the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in eThekwini.
She was joined by, amongst others, Dr Monique Emser, a research associate at the department of public law.