A non governmental organization fighting against gender inequality and other challenges faced by women, has called on President Jacob Zuma to enact laws that would end prostitution.
Embrace Dignity, an NGO focused on seeking justice for the female gender said Zuma should enact an Equality Model Law in a bid to end prostitution.
The organization which also helps women and children who face abuse and in particular helps women out of the sex trade, commemorated the launch of its 16 Days of Activism campaign by hosting a forum about violence against women and children at its offices in Woodstock.
According to the Executive director and founding member of Embrace Dignity, Nozizwe Madlala, the event was successful, and was attended by former members of the group, including former sex workers and other women who had been victims of prostitution and drug abuse.
Also present at the event was former sex worker Vera Qwesha from Port Elizabeth who published a book, From Grass to Grave, meant to inspire others trapped in the sex trade.
There, Qwesha said: “As a survivor of domestic violence myself, which later resulted in me going into prostitution, I feel there is a need for us who have survived this to speak out about it, with the hope of making others in the same situation take action.
Embrace Dignity wrote to Zuma saying enacting the model will help end prostitution in SA and would also hold sex workers accountable for any harm caused.
“We call on the government to enact the fourth legal option or the Equality Model. Also known as the Swedish or Nordic Models, the Equality Model provides a framework that upholds gender equality and human rights. This model works to end demand for paid sexual acts by holding sex buyers accountable for the harm they cause.
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“This model also mandates that the government provide prostituted individuals with comprehensive medical services, economic and educational opportunities, and alternative livelihood programmes. In addition, it will serve as a tool to change the pervasive cultural paradigm that views women and other marginalised bodies as second-class citizens,” the organisation noted.