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secret Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ghana Set to Legalise Prostitution?

Not quite sure what to make of this...

Ghana has joined the list of countries that have experimented with legalising the so-called oldest profession. Other countries include:
  • Sweden & Holland

  • Sweden tried criminalising the buyers, whereas in the Netherlands, "prostitutes were given full labour rights, bringing this aspect of the sex industry in line with any other form of employment."

  • Australia

  • United Kingdom

  • An article by the BBC in 2001 claimed that because prostitution was raising 700million pounds a year, "the findings could be of interest to the Treasury, as it struggles to clamp down on the black economy and raise extra taxes"

  • Thailand

  • Taiwan

  • Greece

  • "The greek government recently unveiled a plan to make prostitutes retire at 55 with the state providing social and medical benefits" (from:

  • Germany

  • South Africa

  • The biggest arguments against legalisation are that:

    1. it makes CHILD prostitution worse

    2. it diverts needed resources by husband/bf from home to prostitutes (thus causing social/domestic stress)

    3. STDs increase (in the UK in the 18-19th C, it got worse as there was bribery and corruption around this!)

    My gut instinct when I first heard this was "good", but in checking a very interesting four-pager entitled "an analysis of the harms caused by legalising prostitution, and the international response to this analysis", which you can find here, I decided it was time for a re-think.

    The basis of my knee-jerk response had to do with the link to combatting HIV/Aids. The idea that there would be regular check-ups of sex workers sounds very palatable, but there is, indeed, a danger that once that is done, it will legitimise the pimps, and endanger sex workers.

    Granted, guys also work as sex workers, but let's face it: more women do it(no pun intended). Therefore, a protection, and reduction, or mitigation, of abuse , plus the need to help mitigate infections by HIV/AIDS should be paramount.

    Registration of prostitutes sounds like one of the good reasons to legalise; however, according to an article in ASIANSEXGAZETTE of 2003 "One of the major concerns in the legalisation debate is a proposal to register sex workers, a move the women fear will stigmatise them permanently"

    Good to know, however, that : " the Protection and Suppression of Prostitution Bill, was passed in 1996. It substantially increased penalties for selling children into the trade while reducing punishment for sex workers"

    I guess bottom line is that just because something is as old as water (ie prostitution being the world's oldest profession") does not mean that it is right; otherwise we would all end up tolerating murder, which most of us--bar those of the criminal underworld--find REPREHENSIBLE. The point made below about the state abdicating its responsibility by legalising prostitution is serious mental pabulum that must not go without scrutiny by those who can afford to do something about it.

    Some food for thought:
    "Prostitution, whether forced, coerced or enticed, is a violation of a person’s innocence and dignity. At best, it is a cheapening of oneself sexually, in order to obtain money or favour. At worst, it is the dehumanising of another through degrading and horrific acts, which can result in injury, disfigurement and/or death"
    from : --How Much is A Woman Worth?

    ...and another:
  • "Prostitution is violence against women. It is an insult to the self-respect of women, violation of their basic human rights. It is criminal to call violence and sexual abuse against women as work. It is criminal to call the sale of one’s body for the sexual gratification of others as work.

  • It is criminal and callous on the part of governments to abdicate responsibility of providing decent employment to women and children and pushing them into the sex trade in the name of legalisation of prostitution."

  • from:

    very sobering thoughts

    "The reality is that prostitution cannot be made respectable. Legalisation does not make it so. Prostitution is an industry that arises from the historical subordination of women andthe historical right of men to buy and exchange women simply as objects for sexual use. It thrives on poverty, drug abuse, the trafficking in vulnerable women and children.Prostitution teaches men how to mistreat women and damages the lives of both thewomen who are used, the women whose partners, sons, brothers and workmates are the abusers, and the status of all women in the state. Legalisation causes the business ofA generation of men in Victoria have now learned that it is acceptable to treat women as objects for their sexual use.
    Page 13
    13sexual exploitation to flourish. As more and more women and children are drawn into the industry, and more and more men become abusers, the profits from the abuse become an indispensable part of the state’s revenue. "



    At Tuesday, March 29, 2005 10:10:00 am , Blogger laura said...


    i think it's too simplistic to say that prostitution is violence against women. some of the most militant feminists were sex workers--look at victoria woodhull. aspasia was a courtesan, as was veronica franco--2 very powerful, rich, and brilliant women. and really--what separates a housewife from a prostitute? the difference is that the housewife only gives sexual access to one man.

    don't get me wrong--i'm not saying prostitution can't be degrading to women. but if the industry was controlled by those who provide the services, it would be a different playing field indeed. as it is, the problem with the sex industry today is that the management holds most, if not all the cards.


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