Sex Workers Want in on the List of Essential Service Providers

Breaking taboo for sex workers

It’s not business as usual for many Kenyans, as COVID-19 pandemic has sent thousands of workers home. The government issued restrictive measures which the public has been adhering to. Among them include, wearing face masks when in public, social distancing and mandatory self-quarantine.

Things are getting tough for Kenyans who live from hand to mouth as the state interventions put President Uhuru to cushion Kenyans from the pandemic, might take a long while before trickling down their way. With the curfew, it is hard for businesses to thrive especially for those people who operate at night but have not been listed in the group of essential service providers.

Commercial sex workers have come out to beseech the government to include them in the list of essential service providers as the new government directive does not give them room to operate at night. Those in Mombasa have come out to urge the county government to include them in the group of essential service providers because the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on their finances.

“Since the scourge started, we have incurred losses. The closure of bars, restaurants and clubs as a result of the curfew has rendered 90 per cent of sex workers jobless. These were the places where we could get our daily bread,” said High Voice Africa chair lady Maryline Laini.

Before the pandemic, they would make as much as Ksh10000 depending on their clientele, but as at now, they are trading their goodies for as low as Ksh 20, which is barely enough to live off. Increased number of domestic violence cases have been reported among some households of these sex workers, which has been linked to their sources of money being affected by COVID-19. They are calling upon the county and national government to something about their situation.

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Inzillia is an avid reader and researcher on matters finance, business, government affairs, culture, and human interest stories. Poetry too. Email: