Madam Susana Dartey, Executive Director, Women of Dignity Alliance (WODA), a women’s rights advocacy group, has called for the acknowledgement of the human rights of Female Sex Workers (FSW).
Speaking at a sensitization meeting held in Accra on the theme: “Women Speak to Power,” she said though sex work was illegal in Ghana, FWS are firstly human, adding these women were mostly stigmatized by society and faced abuse from people.
Madam Dartey said some sex workers in Accra were trafficked as children from rural communities into the practice and that is what they have known as a source of livelihood.
She said reports received at the organisation’s office had it that the women experienced all manners of abuse from the Police, clients and were mostly stigmatized when they visited health facilities.
She urged the Police and health practitioners to hear them out and give them the needed assistance firstly as humans before looking at the practices they engaged in when they visit their stations or facilities.
“Negative statements against them by key influencers and the public make them unable to share their challenges in order to access needed help,” she said.
She said six persons on their staff were former sex workers who had benefited from their reintegration programme.
She explained they were taken through a behavioural change process and educated to advocate for their rights as humans, they were trained and enrolled into vocational and social enterprises.
She said they were assisted to start up their own small businesses because they don’t have the capital to start up anything.
“Looking at their background, we introduced them to simple skill trainings such as beautician, bead making, baking of pastries, wig cap making amongst other skills which do not require long periods of training to support themselves,” she said.
She emphasized that, WODA had continued to help these women for the past five years to give them a better life, adding that their doors were opened to all who wished to support in one way or the other.