Keep Prostitution Illegal

2016-08-15 19:36

Some activists at the recently concluded International AIDS Conference in Durban called for the legalisation of prostitution. I believe the effort to decriminalise the sex trade or legalise prostitution is not a step in the right direction or a progressive idea. Implementing such a policy is a retrogressive move entitling men to buy sex and making woman into objects.

I know there are some campaigners who argue that individuals have every right to use their bodies or sexuality to their advantage or women in prostitution sell sex as consenting adults and no one has the right to control these freedoms. Their thinking does not take into consideration the harms and impact that such a right or move will have on communities, societies, families and the youth. And the effects it will have on women who are already marginalized by class and gender.

Sex work or prostitution as it is commonly called is an extreme form of coercion. It is also against laws of every religion, the rights of women and is inconsistent with universal values of human rights.

Prostitution, “the oldest profession on earth” is a man-made phenomenon based on the satisfying of lust by the man and “earning” money by the woman, through need or greed. The “sex trade” generally targets young women; girls in their teenage years and poverty stricken women. Prostitution basically involves women being used by men and this transmits an intolerable view of human beings in that they can be bought and used as commodities.

Most of the women who enter into prostitution often have a painful start to life or are in search of economic gain to escape poverty. In order to overcome or swallow the abuse of the mind and body, prostitutes use drugs and alcohol to overcome the guilt and loss of their respect and integrity. The culprit, the man, gets away with just a monetary loss.

Prostitution should not be legalised and nor can it be regarded as “employment” or work as it severely lacks the necessary basic conditions of work; such as dignity, safety and social fairness.

Concern for the safety of the women is often cited for legalising prostitution by governments. In legalising prostitution policymakers are endangering the lives of women even further.

Prostitution causes chronic trauma to the soul, body and mind. Women in prostitution suffer the same injuries that women subjected to other forms of violence undergo. Women, who survive the mental, emotional and physical abuse, could possibly end up with severe depression and diseases. Most survivors of prostitution often report that “each time they indulged in prostitution it felt like rape”. In this regard laws should be implemented to assist and rehabilitate victims.

Legalisation means that under certain conditions it is legal and acceptable to oppress and abuse women. By legalising prostitution, a definite segment of each generation of young women will be destroyed.

Countries that have legalised prostitution are now facing major problems as it has created new and more serious problems. They discovered that crimes that legislation was believed to alleviate or solve have in fact increased; it increased child prostitution, human trafficking, slavery, crime, drugs and unruly behaviour.

Every religion recognises the value of sex and therefore encourages marriage. Families are the fabric of society and prostitution destroys families, causes pain to the wife, children are deprived of quality time, increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, hard earned money that should be spent on the family is spent on prostitutes and marriages break up.

Taking into consideration that every religion is against prostitution and the documented harm to women who are prostituted, it is only sensible not to allow prostitution to be legalised.

Instead of legalising prostitution, men should be educated on the harms of prostitution and more stringent punishment should be implemented to perpetrators and clients.

Although monogamy is promoted around the globe, we need to examine why adultery or infidelity are on the increase. Why is adultery rife and not polygyny? Why is polygyny looked down upon? Daily we read of reports of marital infidelity or unfaithfulness, not only amongst ordinary masses but even among the most well-known, influential and famous individuals.

I urge every South African who believes in morality, values and sanctity of marriage to keep prostitution illegal.

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