The harsh economic condition in some countries is forcing prostitutes to cut their coat according to their size. Many people have now been forced into one of the oldest professions in the world because of hardship. According to the Masvingo Mirror, sex workers in Kenya are now offering sex for as low as N300 or less than $1 at Mucheke Bus Terminus because of the increasing competition increases due to economic hardships.
Commenting on the issue National Coordinator of sex workers Memory Makwara said, “The economic situation will only force a person to charge for a dollar all because they need money to buy medicines, thus they have no option than to opt for dollar”. The sex workers are also working 24 hours a day to boost their earnings as they take almost any amount that they get from clients no matter how small because of desperation, Precious Marere a sex worker said.
“Times are now hard. Our rates used to range between $5 and $30 per short time or per night depending on the affordability of the client. Now we take as little as $1 because we cannot even refuse a man offering you something as we have children who need to be fed,” said Marere, who operates at Mucheke rank.
Other sex workers said they were resorting to unprotected sex as it pays more than protected sex. They argued that a lot of men preferred “yekedero” a term used to describe unprotected sex. However, the Masvingo Provincial medical Director Dr Amadeus Shamhu said that they cannot do anything about it but rather encourage sex workers to practice safe sex by using condoms to prevent the spread of STI’s and HIV and AIDS.
One of the sex workers only identified as Chido said there was stiff competition at Masvingo’s main rank especially at Mundondo Bar.
Herbert Chikosi, a reproductive health expert with National Family Planning Council of Zimbabwe said that “the picture is true. The situation that is biting everyone including civil servants is also affecting sex workers.”