Prostitution as a cause and consequence of inequality

New Zealand was the first country to decriminalise prostitution and it was promoted as a progressive move. Yet survivors of the sex trade say that pimps and johns are emboldened operating within the law, and that the women are treated more like a piece of property to be used and abused. Speak Up For Women is calling for a review of New Zealand’s laws on prostitution after the murder of Bella Te Pania, who is the fifth prostitute to be murdered since the law change. The Nordic Model is being proposed as an alternative.

Bella Te Pania

Speak Up For Women argues that the Nordic Model approach “decriminalises the prostituted, provides support services to help them exit, and makes buying people for sex a criminal offence, in order to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking. This approach has been adopted in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Ireland, and Israel. ”

The linked article below from Feminist Current (an excellent website that is worth supporting financially) looks at how prostitution has become a contentious issue in the Women’s Liberation movement.

Arguing against the industry of prostitution: Beyond the abolitionist versus sex worker binary

by Finn MacKay

Prostitution has long been a contentious issue in the Women’s Liberation Movement, splitting feminist individuals and groups. This is largely because the debate is often reduced to an either/or argument between what is called ‘harm minimisation’ in a legal ‘sex industry’ – the legalisation argument – and on the other side, arguments for the abolition of prostitution. Those veering towards the latter view are often accused of moralism, conservatism and, worse, of a disregard for women’s safety. It is perhaps timely then to revisit the feminist understanding of prostitution as a cause and consequence of inequality, and this post will attempt to address some of the contemporary challenges to this political stance. Read more

One comment

Comments are closed.