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What Eldoret Commercial Sex Workers want DP Ruto to Do For Them

Since 1999, an estimated of 6.3 percent of women nationally confessed to having exchanged sex for money, favors, and even gifts.

The rate of sex workers in Kenya is realized to have increased especially in urban areas and rural areas at a rate of 83.7 percent and 70.1 percent respectively.

In Kenya, many women confessed to having encountered with commercial workers while conducting their day-to-day work. The major cause of commercial sex work in Kenya is seeking a better life due to poverty and sometimes family conflicts and divorce.

Sex workers claimed to have been through a lot and it has never been their fault to venture into such businesses that are seen as controversial in the community.

“We have tried seeking employment even in small hotels but we are denied because we are not educated It’s so hard in our field because sometimes clients may want to use you for free because they are more powerful and may even end up in beatings due to disagreements of prices and failure to fulfill the promises, we are discriminated, disrespected and called names but we can’t prevent them”

On October 5th, 2021, President William Ruto pledged one million to a section of commercial sex workers in Mtito Andei Makueni county.

This was after a youthful woman, sought his intervention, citing economic hardship brought by the Covid-19 pandemic but this rubbed many Kenyans the wrong way.

However, discrimination, misconduct, and harassment by the county askaris and clients in the country have always been a major challenge to all commercial sex workers.

In Eldoret, sex workers are protesting against it and urge the president to consider them and help them to venture into small-scale businesses so that they can support their families.

“After the swearing-in of the president, We want to urge him to come here and rescue us from the municipal, we are being beaten and harassed by them and they don’t bear with our situation. We are hustlers here in town and this is just a business like any other, we have children and they need food, and school fees and we pay rent. ”

These sex workers explained how their businesses can blossom and times fail.

Despite all this, the country still benefits a lot from the sex workers economically from increased revenue gains, criminal justice system savings, and health sector savings.

“We wish for the same thing that happened in Mtito Andei, a small business to us created by the president will save us and people should know that his business depends on how you groom yourself,we respect our client’s spaces and that is why we make up to six thousand shillings on good days,the least amount is five hundred shillings and whenever our fellows face discriminations from our clients we are normally around to protect each other.”

In 2012, UN agencies published two reports that recommend the decriminalization of sex work to help address human rights abuses faced by sex workers and call for better access to health services.

By Winnie Jerop

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