Mothering and Families
Despite the long history of movement, which had shaped and continues to shape Johannesburg, the city and many of it’s public services fail to engage adequately with migration and mobility. This has led to cross-border and internal migrants facing many forms of vulnerabilities including challenges faced when accessing healthcare.
Given that many migrants engage in work within the informal economy, including the selling of sex, these vulnerabilities can increase as they face discrimination, exploitation and – specific to selling sex – criminalisation and stigma. Selling sex is just one of a number of livelihood strategies that migrant women engage in as a way of making money, and in particular to support dependants. For women who are mothers and sell sex – the risks and vulnerabilities encountered can be multiple.
Under this project we take migration as a lens to explore the ways in which forms of vulnerability, as created and shaped by the urban spaces of the city, are encountered and negotiated in the everyday city lives of migrant women who are mothers and who sell sex. Using qualitative and mixed methods including semi-structured interviews and an arts-based participatory project we consider the impact of these vulnerabilities and forms of structural violence on migrant mothers and their families.