This may sound funny but as the world marked the 14th International Sex Worker’s Rights Day yesterday, Nigerian prostitutes took to the streets in the nation’s capital city, Abuja and other major towns, including Lagos and Port Harcourt, asking to be recognized and their jobs registered as a service trade.
Some of the commercial sex workers who spoke to our sources, say that the Nigerian government should identify their importance in the society and give them legitimacy since they are providing ‘services’ to humanity, instead of treating them with disdain, stigmatization and degradation.
See, many people, including you, do not see us as human beings. In your mind, we are a condemned set of Nigerians who sell their bodies so cheaply, but that thought is not right,” one of them reportedly said.
“The government should recognize us as we are rendering a very important service to humanity. Some of the law enforcement agents that harass us, arrest us, beat us, rape us and also extort money from us are our regular customers. Even government officials patronize us, so why are they hiding?” Another said.
“In some countries abroad, sex workers pay taxes. There is no discrimination, they can sue and even have streets, mainly in red light districts allocated to them to carry out their trades. But here in Nigeria, we are faced with rejection from the society, serious harassment by the police, and victimization by our customers.
“You can imagine a customer who rushes into this place in a desperate bid to ease himself, jumps at one of us after a bargain and rides like a horse only to renege on the agreement on how much he should pay. If we have our rights, we could call for his arrest without shame or molestation from security agents and other Nigerians,” another concluded.
What do you make of their demands?