International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2021

On the The 3rd of March, 2021, the network and all its partner organisations celebrated International Sex Workers Rights Day. Kiran Deshmukh, President of NNSW sent a press note to known press contacts to commemorate the day.

On social/digital media, a reflective note was published along with the demand posters in multiple languages to reflect on the past years and the difficulties of the pandemic years- the demand list in multiple languages got picked up by various advocacy movements and was shared multiple times, increasing NNSW’s social media reach by over 110% overnight.

Across Maharashtra, partner organisations made rangolis, and got out on the streets with banners and placards for a small demonstration and to click a couple of pictures to send to friends elsewhere. They exchanged sweets and spent time talking about workers’ rights.

In Parbhani, Maharashtra, the MJSS office invited Adv.Anuradha Gaikwad to discuss violence in the community. The participants of the session took away a lot of learnings from the session and were able to understand violence in the context of the law, and how they can use legal literacy to further their rights as women citizens of the country. As a vote of thanks, the staff at MJSS also presented a copy of the IT(P)A, a book named Sthri Samaj Sudharak and the brochure of MJSS to Adv.Gaikwad to thank her for her work.

Aadhar Bahuudeshiya Sanstha, Jalgaon invited Mr Bhavne, a local leader to speak about access to rations, and to discuss the problems sex workers in the area are facing with access. He further spoke about rights, and the audience felt empowered with the discussion.

Images (L-R): Celebrations at Sangram/Vamp, Sangli; Adv.Anuradha speaking to participants in Parbhani; (down) Mr Bhavne seated at Swadhar Sangh, Amalner and a shot from the meeting at Ganika Mahila Shakti Sanghatan.

Two articles were published in the local issues of Lokmat and Loksatta on the day outlining the need to act on sex workers’ rights.

There was a meeting held at Jhansi Lakshmibai CBO and Me and My World CBO at Anantapur. These meetings were written about in the local news coverage on ISWRD in Krishna and Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.

In Kerala, the larger meeting that was organised between districts that was supposed to be held in Thiruvananthapuram was cancelled due to bus strikes, but two meetings were held at Alappuzha and Thrissur. The president of the Kerala Network of Sex Workers, Lalita S chaired the meeting along with other key members in the Thrissur meeting.

All individual CBOs across the network were very active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook on the day, amplifying work by groups and organisations across the globe; creating long lasting partnerships of solidarity and joy.

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National Network of Sex Workers India

NNSW is a national network of sex worker-led organisations and allies committed to promoting the rights of sex workers in India.