Sex Worker Organizing at CFCS VI

The 6th Changing Faces, Changing Spaces (CFCS) conference is currently underway, and African sex workers are part of this important regional convening.

Organised by UHAI EASHRI, this convening, held once every two years, brings together African sex workers, LGBTI activists, donors, and partners, to connect, question, promote, and increase visibility, of their organising around the continent.

Now in its 6th edition, ASWA, together with some of our member organisations, are present at this edition, and are participating in several sessions, as well as making presentations on our work.

Some of the highlighted sessions include:

“Beyond Funding-Strategies for self sustainability” – that examines sustainable ways to organise, and other viable resources, that are independent of donor funding particularly as regards grassroots organising. Here, ASWA members KESWA, and Litos, both from Kenya, will present on their alternative sources of income-generation, and sustainability plans.

“Reform or Revolution” – a session examining how change is created, developed, and implemented. ASWA member from Kenya, MAAYGO, that focuses on male sex workers, will share how they do advocacy work with key police and law enforcement officials.

“Lived Realities and imagined futures” – is a session that explores the lived realities of refugees, migrant, and asylum seekers who are sex workers, or LGBTI. The session will have a refugee sex worker who lives in Kenya.

“Sticks and Stones” – is a plenary session that explores organising in hostile environments, especially through Government legislations. Here, NSWA, and WONETHA, ASWA member organisations from Nigeria, and Uganda respectively, will present on how they operate in hostile, and rapidly changing political, and social contexts.

“Nuts and Bolts in movement mechanics” – is a session that will highlight neglected constituents in the ongoing discourse in HIV, and sex worker identities. UNESO, the umbrella organisation for sex work groups in Uganda, and also an ASWA member, will present.

“Body Economics” – is an ASWA moderated session featuring member organisations from Botswana (Pilot Mathambo Center for Men’s Health), Kenya (KESWA), Uganda (WONETHA), and Nigeria (NSWA), that will serve as a shared learning platform on the different strategies employed by sex workers to facilitate safe spaces to work and be.

“Continentuity – Just organising within continental membership based organising” – will see ASWA share the stage with other regional networks (including AMSHeR, CAL, PAI, African Queer Youth), on how to provide African solutions to African problems faced by LGBTI and sex workers movements.

ASWA member organisations in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), are in attendance at this edition.

This year’s CFCS runs from June 14-16, 2017.

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