Imagine a client walking up to a sex worker and asking for their tax records– in addition to other â€˜work’ history– and when entirely satisfied proceeds to haggle up a â€˜transaction’.
Outlandish in Africa? Perhaps, but this could soon be on the radar if a push for legalisation of prostitution on the continent gains traction.
If it gets sufficient backers, legalisation could also do its bit towards denting the continent’s runaway unemployment rate.
Many though will need to be convinced, as one cabinet minister in Namibia recently found out, after he came in for a roasting over a similar proposal.
To be fair, Youth and Sports minister Kazenambo Kazenambo may have had good intentions for a country whose unemployment rate stands at 51.2 per cent.
And this was not the first time such calls were being made in the country. In 2005, the country’s former Health minister Libertina Amathila made the same suggestion only to be shot down by her cabinet colleagues.
And as the world on December 17 marks the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, Africa may have to contend with such strong opposition longer.
Proponents of legalising the trade accuse their opponents of conservatism and politicising the issue. This is a claim rebuffed on the grounds that such a move would be a slur to the fight against HIV/Aids, besides being out of touch with “African culture”.
However, amidst this opprobrium, sex workers across Africa are now forming strong organisations to fight for their rights.