Ghana: Old Fadama Sex Workers tell their stories

February 27, 2013 10:250 comments

On 21st February Theatre for a Change launched its Old Fadama Legislative Theatre project with an interactive theatre performance at Jamestown Community Theatre Centre.

A group of marginalised and vulnerable women known as the Peace & Love Club performed a play about the lives of sex workers in Old Fadama. The plot followed a young woman with no money from her family, who is forced to fend for herself and goes into sex work out of economic desperation.

After the performance, audience members were invited to come onstage and play the role of the main character to empower her and improve the outcome of the story.

The event aimed to educate the audience about the challenges faced by sex workers in Old Fadama, to advocate for gender equality and fight the profound stigmatization sex workers experience.

Theatre for a Change also launched a Situational Analysis Report into the lives of sex workers in Old Fadama.The results of this study revealed that sex workers in this area suffer from low sexual and reproductive health and are highly at risk of contracting HIV. Here are some key findings:

  • 33% of the women surveyed stated that they had suffered violence from clients during the past year.
  • 71% stated that they had been forced to have sex in the past.
  • Promisingly, all women surveyed stated that they always used a condom when having sex with clients. However86% cited that they “never” use a condom with their regular partners.
  • Lack of HIV testing was also revealed to be a serious issue -only 29% of respondents have had a HIV test in the past 6 months.

Wendy Abbey, Acting Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre also advised the group about the legal rights of sex workers, human rights abuses and sources of legal counsel in Ghana.

 

Over the next few months, the Peace & Love Club will participate in a series of drama and improvisational workshops which will build their confidence and empower them with knowledge about better sexual and reproductive health practices.

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