Decriminalization of sex work must be treated with caution, says ANC’s Ramakgopa
The organization decided to decriminalize sex work at its 2017 national conference, citing the need to protect workers in the industry from abuse and stigma.
FILE: ANC’s Gwen Ramokgopa gave reporters an update on the party’s talks on gender equality and women’s empowerment, which will be broken down when the committees sit on Saturday. Photo: Twitter/@DrGwenR
JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) said on Friday that the decriminalization of sex work was too sensitive a societal issue to be implemented without due diligence.
The organization decided to implement the resolution at its 2017 national conference, citing the need to protect sex workers from abuse and stigma.
ANC’s Gwen Ramokgopa updated reporters on the party’s talks on gender equality and women‘s empowerment, which will be debated when the committees meet on Saturday.
The debate over decriminalizing sex work in South Africa has raged for years, with the ANC first rejecting it at its 2017 policy conference, only to endorse it a few months later at the 54th conference. national. Civil society and organizations promoting the trade have pushed for its decriminalization, explaining that keeping it criminal creates fertile ground for sexual abuse and extortion in the industry.
Although there has been some movement towards its realization, the government, which is led by the party, is still consulting widely on the issue.
“If you’re the leader, you would like, when you make your decision, to have a lot of voices in the community saying ‘yes, it’s our decision’, not just a top-down approach because that wouldn’t work. It can even exacerbate a situation,” Ramokgopa said.
She stressed that the ANC was committed to a society where women were treated equally at home and in the workplace and had equal opportunities.