Article by: Tsholofelo Wesi

9 May 2016

It was a Mother’s Day with a difference for sex workers and sex worker advocates.

M4F-LogoThe SolidariTea Mother’s Day event and launch of the Sex Worker Super Hero film gathered on Friday, May 6, 2016, to commemorate Mothers Day for sex workers with children.

The event, hosted by Mothers for the Future (M4F), a programme that supports mothers who do sex work, was attended by 60 guests from organisations working with women, children and sex work, including 13 mothers who were sex workers themselves, according to Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) media officer Lesego Tlhwale.

Duduzile Dlamini, event organiser at Sisonke, a sex workers’ movement, said mothers who did sex work faced a lot of challenges: “In our support group, they come every day with a whole host of problems.”

Dlamini says some of the mothers lose their children because they are taken away from them by authorities under the assumption that they cannot care for their children and are bad mothers.

A lot of the mothers do not feel ready to tell their children about their occupation, according to her. However, community members take it upon themselves to reveal to the children what their mothers do without the mothers’ permission.

“They do not tell them in a way that the children can respect their mothers after that. The children are told in a way that they should hate their mothers in the end,” she says.

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