“Female Sex workers have rights but we don’t support prostitution” – Officials said

Different officials from Gasabo District have raised concerns over prostitution as business of Rwanda’s Female Sex workers (FSWs) as a profession that is against the norms and ethics of the country.

They said this on July 22, 2020 during a meeting organized by Ihorere Munyarwanda Organization (IMRO), a national-Non-Governmental Organization that advocate for the rights of key population including FSWs.

According to the Rwandainspirer.com, One of the main objectives of this meeting on decreasing stigma & discrimination among women of reproductive age by ending unsafe abortion is to organize information sharing meetings with local law enforcers to increase their knowledge on FSWs rights.

While various activists who implement their interventions in the context of Human Rights especially for the category of Female Sex workers say that these key populations are discriminated and stigmatized. Local authorities that are in charge of gender said that prostitution is a bad act that is against Rwandan culture and moral values.

District officials take part in the case

Jeannette Daria Uwamahoro, the in-charge of Gender and Family Promotion in Gasabo District said that female sex workers should be protected against stigma and discrimination as they are Rwandans who deserve the full rights as others.

“However, I cannot support their behaviors as prostitutes, they have full rights as other Rwandans but prostitution, the business they do is negative. Their children lack rights of parental education as most of them are not registered into civil status books. Their children are intimidated when they ask them who and where are their fathers; so, we have to continue teaching them until they leave prostitution,” Uwamahoro said.

 

She added that female sex workers is a category that need to be catered for to help them find solutions to their problems.

Uwamahoro further stressed that settlement is another accelerating factors that makes children to make sex earlier as most of parents in Kigali and in some cities still sleep with their little children in small houses.

Domina Ntakabanoza, JADF Coordinator in Gasabo district said that it is a responsibility of parents to start explaining children about sexual reproductive health at their early age following their maturity.

She warned parents and activists who can support that children get information which is different from their age category giving an example of some parents who allow children to spend a time on You Tube for some naked contents like pornography.

Jean De Dieu Niwemusa is in charge of Hygiene and sanitation in Nduba Sector, Gasabo district. He recommended the government especially the national children’s council (NCC) to further education among Rwandan families who still rely on friendship and let their teen girls violated by their relatives.

David Musirikare, in charge of youth in Gasabo district said: “female sex workers are our sisters, our daughters, clients, or clients of our colleagues. We need to bring them in a good way of Rwandan values because sex business is negative.” He said.

What does the Human Rights activists say?

Amon Mutegaya, project coordinator at Great Lakes Initiative for Human Rights and Development (GLIHD) said that female sex workers as well as the general population of Rwanda are still facing challenges when it comes to safe abortion and legal framework as current laws have some barriers to safe abortion.

“We, as legal professionals are advocating for the articles of current penal code in regard with safe abortion to be amended to allow women and girls to safely abort.” He said.

Jules, project coordinator at IMRO said that FSWs cannot leave prostitution as business immediately, nut slowly when they also get other income generating jobs like hear dressing.

Story from rwandainspirer.com

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