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Sex workers march for legalization, against harassment in Kenya

March 6, 2012 |  6:18 pm

Nairobiprotest

Every day on WorldNow, we choose an interesting photo from around the world. Today we picked this shot from Kenya, where masked sex workers are marching against police harassment.

Male and female sex workers marched through the streets of Nairobi on Tuesday with orange and black masks that said "Sex workers rights are human rights." Some hoisted signs saying "My body my business."

"It is about time that society stops its hypocrisy on sex workers," Daughtie Ogutu, a founding member of the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance, said on Kenyan television.

Besides pushing back on harassment, the sex workers are also seeking legalization of their trade. The mayor of Nairobi has raised the idea of creating red-light zones, Kenyan news reports said.

"Nairobi could even have its own version of De Wallen, the largest red-light district in Amsterdam, which is an attraction for tourists seeking sex," the Kenyan Daily Nation wrote in February.

The idea upset the metropolitan development director of Nairobi, who said legalizing and taxing prostitution would encourage immorality, the Kenyan Broadcasting Corp. reported.

After a barrage of criticism, Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa said that he hadn't said that prostitution would be legalized and was merely airing his views, according to Kenyan radio.

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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Photo: Kenyan sex workers march to protest for the legalization of prostitution on Tuesday in Nairobi. Credit: Boris Bachorz / Agence France-Presse

 

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