SWEATGroundUp reports that a report released last week revealed that a hundred-and-one female sex workers, some of whom were transwomen, died in 2018/19, while half of them were murdered.  

The report, Female and Transomxn Sex Worker Deaths in South Africa, was authored by the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task force (SWEAT), supported by Sisonke.  "Our analysis found that almost 45% of known causes of deaths in our study were attributed to murder. The methods included poisoning, multiple gunshot wounds, stabbing, strangulation, and being pushed out of a moving car," the report indicated.  Sixolile Ngcobo of the Commission for Gender Equality pointed out that:  "Sex work is work. We cannot have work that does not have labour rights."  Ngcobo added that sex work should not be criminalised because that made women vulnerable and encouraged human trafficking.  Sex work in SA is illegal for both the buyer and seller.  The report was launched as part of the #SayHerName campaign.  Launched in 2016, it was created to protect the rights of sex workers, to celebrate and empower them.  Ngcobo noted that according to a 2013 study, there had at the time been 138,000 women, 7,000 men, and 6,000 transgender sex workers in SA.

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