Nomonde Mihlali (“Mickey”) Meji changed her view from endorsing the full decriminalization of the sex trade to now advocating for a law that calls for its abolition. She has just seen to much of how the decriminalization of the “sex trade” has captured the sex worker into a life of abuse, sex and drugs. Many of her friends have died young.
Although she has been working for S.W.E.A.T, she started to study laws from European countries like Sweden, Norway and France which protect prostituted women, while providing them with services. They call these laws the “Nordic Model,” which also focus on prevention and criminal liability of male demand for prostitution.
Nomonde states that “none of the women [sex workers] I work with recognizes prostitution as work. Many of us are dying young. We need care and love, not the legal status of “sex work.” Nomonde statest that “what is dangerous is white and privileged men and academics promoting the sex trade as a way of life for poor and Black women.“
Nomonde shares her vision for women in South Africa as, “when my daughters grow up, I want to ask them, “What do you enjoy most about your job?” If you’re in prostitution that question is impossible to answer. South Africa cannot become a country where prostitution is what is left for us when everything else is taken away. Black women and girls deserve justice and equality, not the sex trade.” She further states that “My choices weren’t between the abolitionist movement and S.W.E.A.T. My transformation comes from my own experiences and speaking to the women at SESP.”
Here are ten points why CYPSA find it very difficult to swallow the bitter consequences should the legalisation and decriminalisation of prostitution be pushed down our throats:
Legalisation / decriminalisation of prostitution:
1. does not only decriminalise the women in it, but it decriminalises the whole sex industry.
2. promotes human trafficking.
3. does not control the industry, it expands it.
4. increases clandestine, illegal and street prostitution.
5. increases child prostitution.
6. does not protect women in prostitution. It creates more risks and harm for women from already violent customers and pimps.
7. increases the demand for prostitution. It encourages men to buy women for sex in wider and a more permissible range of seeming socially acceptable settings.
8. does not promote women’s health. It is the male buyers who can and do originally transmit disease to the women they purchase.
9. does not enhance women’s choice.
10 is against what women/girls who have been trafficked want.
One woman said: “No way. It’s not a profession. It is humiliating, and exposes me to violence from the men’s side.”
CYPSA researched all these points above, and proved them to be legitimate. But we keep on asking ourselves, why then do legislators still want to force prostitution down our throats? Could it perhaps be that some individuals in high places want to get rich by thus legally exploiting our children?