Women Empowerment: for Organized Sex Workers
This intervention reaches out directly to the organized sex workers in the society.
Self-determination and the protection of human rights have become casualties under consumer markets. The human person has no value and represents only a bargaining tool in terms of age and condition. Everything is for sale, including young bodies. Economic priorities win out over child rights. Pimps control human bodies depending on supply and demand.
Under these circumstances, WHAD is addressing these issues in thirteen lodges, one brothel and five organized slums. Once the sex workers are identified and contacted, they are encouraged to become members of the sex workers union to ensure that they are well aware of their rights as well as they benefit from the extension programmes of the union. These include health education, awareness on HIV and AIDS and other Government programmes.
HIV & AIDS Awareness
Through the programmes of WHAD for the organized sex workers, the outlook towards HIV and AIDS is very positive, such as:
- positive abuot education: Educating ourselves and others about HIV and AIDS
- positive about awareness: Raising awareness in the wider community
- positive about support: reaching out to people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.
In the five slums where we work for the welfare of sex workers, 58 people with HIV have tested positive, 8 referred cases were received. 31 cases were referred to hospitals out of a total number of 349 FSWs.
Condom Usage Programme (CUP)
The core objective of this initiative is to enhance sex workers' self esteem and strengthen their motivation to take prevention against HIV and AIDS. WHAD is addressing the issues of oraganized sex worker promoting "No Condom, No Sex", in thirteen lodges, one brothel and five organized slums containing eight designated homes. As a safer sex promotion activity, each of these locations are supplied with boxes containing 500 packets of condom initially and are refilled with 500 to 2,000 packets based on need. The dual role of contraception and protection of both client and worker is condom usage is promoted through the CUP.
We have an office called 'Namma Mane' meaning 'Our Home', where vulnerable women come to share their hardship as a way of silently mobilizing a form of resistance.