The Sex Workers Champion
Low literacy levels among women _according to Central Intelligence Agency,literacy levels for women above 15 yrs who can read and write in Kenya is only 79.7%.Education is the pillar to development, but contrary to this, sex workers that am currently working with have attained very little education.
Workplace exploitation-most sex workers in the MARPs project work as bar hostesses and casual laborers in tea plantations and flower estates. Challenges range from meager wages, overworking, sexual harassment in pubs from bar patrons and unintended pregnancies, with majority engaging in transactional sex to boost income.
Family planning; majority of Sex Workers are ignorant of Family Planning while some are sexually abused by their clients .Some clients also refuse to use condoms. Kenya is currently facing acute shortage of both male, female condoms and water based lubricants. Government initiatives have been neglected e.g. provision of supplies/commodities, laying off of VCT counselors who had been employed by NASCOP.
Under developed talent; in Central Province, Kenya most women are talented in music and artwork. The lucky ones who get opportunities to produce music, their dreams are cut short by music piracy which is very rampant in the country .In art work, there exists so many middlemen who buy the produce at throw away prices while they make a kill both locally and internationally.
HIV burden; most women especially sex workers are infected or affected, this denies the country the most of productive generation through death/terminally ill, while family’s income is directed towards HIV treatment and precious time towards Home Based Care.
In pursuit to improve the SW literacy levels, liaison with Ministry of Education, in the provision of adult education, aimed at provision of education to adult individuals
To curb workplace exploitation, offering social entrepreneurship and business management courses for those SW with IGAs for capacity building to competitive business managers, also linking them with microfinance institutions for business loans.
Family planning, HIV burden, PSSG formation and HBC- mounting of condom dispensers in hotspots, also sourcing, distribution and demonstration of condoms use and water based lubricants.
Formalization of partnerships with local partners offering MARPs friendly services for provision of STIs screening and treatment, referrals for sexual and reproductive health services
Peer education and outreach the goal is to provide target populations with education/skills to reduce HIV/STI risk and increase access to clinical services.
Possibilities in Pulse Wire;
Enrolment of SW in to the Pulse Wire community-to represent the voice of the voiceless in the voices rising and YWLI.
Global events-obtain information on relevant international foras the SW can attend the foras/events
Action Alert-use Pulse Wire to whistle blow on music piracy to Music Society of Kenya exploitation from bar owners and sexual harassment from the police and clients
Sharing of solutions-by exchanging views with experts and like-minded members in fighting HIV scourge
Resource exchange-this could be used in getting local and international market for the SW products, sourcing for financial support a national SW choir, and sourcing of volunteers and HBC kits.