Nigerian Prostitutes Protest On The Streets Of Lagos

The prostitutes, led by their champion, Patoo Abraham, are fighting to have their trade legalized

The commercial sex business is largely frowned upon in Nigeria but one woman seeks to change that.

48-year-old Patoo Abraham has led protests in Lagos to seek a better lot for Nigeria's prostitutes.

Abraham is seeking to ensure that prostitution is legalized in Nigeria and that sex workers be protected and respected. The mother-of-two, who heads the Nigerian chapter of African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) and the Women of Power Initiative (WOPI) , led protests with the demonstrators wearing T-shirts screaming "Sex work is work, we need our rights."

She told Al Jazeera:

"We are tired of dying in silence","We want to be able to practise our profession with pride like every other person. We want an end to name-calling and stigmatisation. We are sex workers and not asawo [a derogatory Yoruba name for prostitutes]."

"Sex work is normal work and there are sex workers everywhere under one form of disguise or the other". "The government should stop criminalising our work"

Ms. Abraham also stated that she is proud of her profession as it is not different from any other trade. Controversial musician, Maheeda has also called for the legalization of prostitution in Nigeria.

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