The principles of SheDecides Day must also apply to sex workers

2nd March 2021, the day before International Sex Workers’ Rights Day, is SheDecides Day. This globally recognised day of action is held to stand up and speak out in support of girls and women's rights over their bodies, their lives and their future. The organisers of the day are united by the belief in the right of every girl and every woman, everywhere, to make the decisions only she should make. “We are committed to a world where SheDecides. Without question.”

Feminist movements and sex worker rights movements have many things in common: campaigning for womens’ agency and bodily autonomy, for freedom from violence and discrimination, for rights at work and to work. Yet sex workers’ voices are often denied in public-life, to the detriment of the empowerment of all women.

The principles of SheDecides Day must apply to sex workers. This year's theme for SheDecides Day is #TakeYourSeat, a rallying call for women and girls to take up space and claim their seat at the table, to make their voices heard, and to use them to spark powerful conversations about topics that are silenced through stigma.  Sex workers are frequent targets of stigma and discrimination by civil society, states, and other authorities and social systems. When sex workers try to take up space, their direct input is often excluded from key spaces at local, national, regional and international levels.

NSWP calls on those campaigning on SheDecides Day to include and amplify the voices of sex workers.