Economic empowerment and sex work
Creating Opportunities? Economic Empowerment, Political Positioning and Participation of Sex Workers in Kenya and Ethiopia
Sex workers are vulnerable. They are often stigmatized and excluded in terms of political rights and access to welfare, education, health and housing. Their vulnerability increases their personal insecurity regarding economic issues, health and violence. This research programme analyzes, firstly, how sex workers can be supported by strategic actors (officials, agents of the justice system, NGOs and sex-workers’ organizations) and, secondly. how sex workers can be economically empowered to make developments in the sector more inclusive. The project will also study the impact of the sharing of knowledge that is generated as part of this research.
The project is using a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach and will contrast findings and experiences in Kenya and Ethiopia. In addition to surveys that will collect data regarding workers’ financial issues, stigmatization, violence and sexual health practices, participants observation and ethnographic interviews will be used to study processes of social exclusion and transition. The latter are important in view of the goal of studying the impact of knowledge sharing. Interventions directed at policy changes will be developed in policy labs.
The research project will disseminate and build knowledge through participatory and action-research methods but will also include festival-like presentations of films as part of larger cultural events and workshops with the media.
Watch a video pitch of the research group:
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- Hoymas/Kenya Sexworker Alliance
- International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya
- Nikat Charitable Association
- SOA/AIDS Nederland
- University of Nairobi
- VU University Amsterdam