The National Coordinator of the Nigeria Sex Workers Association, Amaka Enemo, has revealed that sex workers in the country are suspending their activities, especially in Lagos and Abuja, due to the lockdown to help check the spread of COVID-19.
Enemo on Tuesday revealed that although sex workers offer “essential services” they would remain indoors because their services involve “substantial bodily contact”. She said, “There is sensitisation across the country, including within our network. Sex workers also offer essential services. However, there is no way sex workers can do their work without body contact. So, they are staying at home to watch what happens. The government has announced a lockdown and as law-abiding citizens, we will not flout the law. If the government says sit at home, we will all obey because nobody wants to die.
“We fall under essential services but ours is peculiar because of the nature of body contact. You cannot compare it to doctors because the doctors are not making full body contact with people the way we do.”
On provision of private home services, Enemo said “The lockdown affects street workers and those at home equally. For the sake of their health, they should all stay at home and avoid bodily contact. So, we stay at home but we are sharing materials that will keep them safe.”
On the the financial impact of the lockdown on sex workers, Enemo added that, “Of course it is going to affect them financially but sex workers are not the only ones that make money on a daily basis. It is the same for commercial drivers. Of course, they might have their savings but that does not mean it will not affect them. It is affecting everybody; so, sex workers are not exempted.”
The national coordinator said her association would accept donations from the government or private sector as this would reduce the impact of the lockdown on members. “If they are willing to help, we will accept it. It is lockdown. Our business is affected,” Enemo added.
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