International Women’s Day Special: Why Sex Workers Rights Are Women’s Rights

Singapore has committed itself to ensuring women’s rights and advancing gender equality in society. Home Affairs and Law Minister Mr K Shanmugam has even called gender inequality a ‘deep violation of fundamental values’ and has since put effort into eradicating it.

Since most sex workers in Singapore are women, both cis and trans, protecting their rights is an integral part of advancing gender equality. Sex workers continue to be discriminated against on multiple levels and subjected to violations of their rights. Women enter the sex industry for a variety of reasons. But regardless of what these reasons are, they still deserve the same protections that are afforded to those working outside the sex industry. Sex workers face the same forms of misogyny, toxic masculinity and stigma faced by non-sex worker women but at a more specific – and sometimes heightened – level. This is why sex workers rights need to be part of the effort to advance women’s rights.

Sex Work & Mental Health

A large body of public health research reports links between doing sex work and a history of trauma/abuse. It also reports a greater propensity for poor mental health due to experiences of sexual coercion, abuse by clients, discrimination, and drug use. Drawing such causal links without delving into the context of the situation implies that […]

Statement on OnlyFans and Titus Low

We note the recent case of OnlyFans content creator, Titus Low, being charged for “transmitting obscene materials by electronic means”, and for failing to comply with a police order not to access his OnlyFans account. OnlyFans is an online subscriber-only platform where distribution of content is not in wide circulation – content on OnlyFans is […]

The relationship between Sex Work and Human Trafficking

Modern discourses surrounding sex work and its morality, exploitation and regulation are still viewed in black and white terms and simplistic assumptions. Historically, international conventions have conflated sex work and trafficking into the sex industry, viewing the industry as inherently exploitative when shaping law, policies and practice. In Singapore, the association of criminality, guilt and […]

No Human Being Is Illegal

Sex workers are routinely situated within contexts of petty crimes, manipulation and sexual deviances. Against the backdrop of Covid-19, criminal constructions of migrant sex and entertainment workers have skyrocketed. Containment narratives associating illegality, nationality and immigration controls further construct migrants as a disorderly population, a “problem” to be tackled once they are caught. Language is […]

In Defense of Orchard Towers

Ever since the gruesome and cruel murder of Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass at Orchard Towers on 2nd July 2019, a barrage of articles attempting to shed light on the reality of the building has flooded media channels.  It is understandable that many people are curious as to how such a sensational murder could have taken […]

Wany’s one-week affair in Kathmandu, Nepal!

I recently got selected to attend an informal “seminar-cation,” which was made possible by Tajassodat, a collaborative initiative launched by Qorras and the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR). The meeting was about advancing Trans Rights And Justice In Muslim Societies. I was super elated when I first learned about it […]

A Human Library of Sex Workers

A “human library” is much like a normal library, except instead of books, you borrow people. In a human library, you come to know the story of another human being through open and frank conversation. On Saturday, 15 June, about 80 people crowded into the cosy, wood-panelled second floor of The Moon – a beautiful […]