Zimbabwe: former minister Nyasha Chikwinya calls for legalization of prostitution

Former Zimbabwean minister Nyasha Chikwinya insisted this Thursday on the urgency of considering the legalization of sex work in Zimbabwe as a necessary measure to sustainably resolve the problems linked to this profession.

At a stakeholder engagement meeting of the Economic Justice Women Project (EJWP), which brought together informal sector workers and legislators from Goromonzi and Kadoma, Nyasha Chikwinya called on policymakers to consider the issues of sex workers as an emergency.

“Sex work is a reality. It is time to make efforts towards its legalization. This way we will be able to protect workers in this category from the widespread abuse they face. Many here would also admit that these sex workers play a vital role in our society by saving many marriages from collapse“, she said.

Goromonzi West lawmaker Beatrice Nyamupinga also supported the call for legalization, stressing that it is the only path capable of resolving issues related to secrecy around the sex industry.

The continued reluctance to recognize this suppressed but thriving sector continues to cause many problems. In my constituency, in the ShowGround area, I have about four wards with around 300 residents and among them are sex workers who contribute significantly to the development of the constituency“added Nyamupinga.

Sex work still criminalized in Zimbabwe

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) lists Zimbabwe among 103 countries where sex work remains criminalized, exposing sex workers to human rights violations without legal protection.

According to the UN, sex workers in Zimbabwe face high levels of violence from the police, their clients and their partners, increasing their vulnerability to HIV. HIV prevalence among sex workers in Zimbabwe is estimated at 42.2%.