The 3rd of March is International Sex Worker Rights Day. The day originated in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival. The organizers, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group whose membership consists of somewhere upwards of 50,000 sex workers and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3 March as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.
Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (2002): “We felt strongly that that we should have a day what need to be observed by the sex workers community globally. Keeping in view the large mobilization of all types of global sexworkers [Female,Male,Transgender], we proposed to observe 3rd March as THE SEX WORKERS RIGHTS DAY.
Knowing the usual response of international bodies and views of academicians and intellectuals of the 1st world [many of them consider that sex workers of third world are different from 1st world and can’t take their decision] a call coming from a third world country would be more appropriate at this juncture, we believe. It will be a great pleasure to us if all of you observe the day in your own countries too…We need your inspiration and support to turn our dreams into reality.
Check out SWOP-USA for more information on events taking place today, namely a potluck dinner in NYC. They also have information on the specific and most pressing issues affecting sex workers. In addition to racism/transphobia/sexism/homophobia/poverty, they are: ending violence against sex workers, involving sex workers in the fight against human trafficking, ending stigmatization and discrimination against sex workers, fighting HIV/AIDs, ending the raids/stings against prostitutes and decriminalizing prostitution overall.
If you have more information on events taking place today (or in the near future), also make sure to leave them in the comments!
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