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Sex Workers Ask for Help With Securing Rights

UN Integrated Regional Information Network, 16 August 2001

Commercial sex workers in Tanzania have requested the government and donors to educate them on their rights as women fighting for their livelihood, particularly in relation to troublesome customers who refuse to wear condoms, and those who default payment for services given, the 'Guardian' newspaper reported on Thursday, 16 August.

Giving their remarks at the opening of a workshop to launch the Promoting Women's Employment and Reduction of Child Labour project in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday, spokewsoman Nester Ruharara said their other problems included customers deliberately puncturing condoms so that they could claim their money back, or inflicting intimidation, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and rape on sex workers.

We sex workers would have liked very much to do away with this business but we lack capital and business education... [newspaper's ellipsis] and we have no experience in looking for markets, the paper quoted Ruharara as saying. She said women working in other areas of the economy - such as agriculture, stone crushing and food vending - spent long hours doing arduous work, yet they got meagre earnings because of the low level of education, it added.