News Brief

The South African Government May Decriminalize Sex Work

President Cyril Ramaphosa told a number of organizations that the government is looking into the current laws regulating sex work.

Yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa opened a newly build court and signed a declaration on gender-based violence (GBV) in Johannesburg. There, he announced to a number of women and civil organizations who were in attendance that the government was looking into the decriminalization of sex work in South Africa.


Feminists, activists and civil organizations the likes of reproductive rights activist, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and Sonke Gender Justice have all been working towards having sex work decriminalized.

Over the years, sex workers and their allies have campaigned for laws criminalizing sex work in the Sexual Offences Act to be changed. With South Africa having one of the highest prevalence rates of femicide, rape and GBV, efforts to have sex work seen as work are incredibly important seeing that sex workers are a marginalized group that is vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

READ: The Daily Nightmare of Being a South African Woman Shows No Signs of Ending

According to SowetanLIVE, President Ramaphosa said:

"We will finalize the outstanding legislation such as the prevention and combating [of] hate crime, the hate crime bill and victim support services. We will work with all stakeholders to develop policy around the decriminalization of sex work."

Speaking further on the current legislation as it relates to GBV, President Ramaphosa also added that:

"We commit ourselves in this declaration to commit, to resource, [and to] strengthen the existing gender machinery...Today begins a new era in our determined struggle to rip our society off gender-based violence and femicide."
Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

These Poignant #EndSARS Protest Photos Show the Heart of a United People

Documentary photographer Victor Adewale captures poignant moments in the continued #EndSARS protests in Nigeria which are calling for an end to police brutality.