Originally by Newsday
History has been made, for the first time as se_x workers have been granted the opportunity to exhibit at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) after being barred from participating at previous fairs.
Se_xual Rights Centre legal support officer Sipho Khumalo expressed her gratitude towards this initiative alluding that this was their first time to showcase at ZITF.
“It is so great to be here showcasing our work. It has been a struggle, but we are glad that we have finally got the chance to express ourselves for society and the society to know that se_x work is work like any other,” she said.
“We are happy that we got the chance to show the world that we are not parasites, we are working to earn a living for our families.”
Khumalo said in the past, efforts to exhibit at ZITF hit a brick wall, as society still had negative perceptions about the profession.
“We have tried to exhibit before, but we have been met with criticism because people do not really appreciate the work we do. They do not realise that we are working to earn a living, but we have since engaged other civic society organisations that work with us advocating for sexual rights and we are here,” she said.
“We are here, we are part of the community and we are not going anywhere. We are trying to teach people that they should accept us as part of them and desist from violating us because we are just like any other member of the society.”
Khumalo said the exhibition had given se_x workers a platform to be recognised in society and to teach people about safe se_x.
“People know little about our profession, so here we teach them that we practise safe se_x and we must not be seen as people who are spreading HIV as society views us,” she said.