“We Fit in the Society by Force” Sex Work and Feminism in Africa

Ntokozo Yingwana. (2018). “We Fit in the Society by Force”: Sex Work and Feminism in Africa. Meridians, 17 (2): 279–295. Duke University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/15366936-7176439. [OPEN ACCESS for first 3-months]

Abstract:
What does it mean to be an African sex worker feminist? In answering this question this essay draws from two qualitative studies with two African sex worker groups in 2014 and 2015 — the South African movement of sex workers called Sisonke, and the African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA). Although participants were initially reluctant to give a precise definition, many pointed to elements that could constitute such an identity. Based on their embodied lived experiences, each participant illustrated and described what it meant for them to be an African, a sex worker, and a feminist, and then collectively discussed these in relation to each other and the social dimensions they occupy. Even though these three identities may seem incongruent, in certain embodiments they actually inform each other. The aim of this work is for all feminists to recognize each other as comrades in the struggle for gender and sexual liberation, thus strengthening solidarity across social justice movements.

About Ntokozo Yingwana

Ntokozo Yingwana joined the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS, at the University of the Witwatersrand) in April 2016 as the Communication and Research Uptake Officer, and a PhD Candidate. Ntokozo holds a Masters in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, at the University of Sussex in England), funded by the Chevening UK Scholarship. Prior to joining ACMS she worked for IDS as the Content Coordinator for the Open Knowledge and Digital Services Unit.

Ntokozo’s experience and skills are in journalism, online media, advocacy, open access/knowledge and research. She freelances as an Online Media Consultant, Digital-storytelling Trainer, and Researcher. However, her main passion lies in gender, sexuality and sex worker rights’ activism in Africa. In the past she has worked for the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), the African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA), and the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP).

Under maHp Ntokozo supports the project’s communication and research uptake.

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