It cannot be morally or socially acceptable that Namibia still has young girls and women involved in selling their bodies for money.
This was said by Khomasdal Constituency Councillor and Chairperson of the National Council Margaret Mensah-Williams when she addressed residents of Agste Laan over the weekend to hear their views of the food bank project.
She urged young girls and women to learn from those sewing traditional dresses and selling kapana, or to rather venture into other business opportunities provided by government, instead of selling their bodies.
“Stop sleeping with men for money. We must have respect for our bodies. We must stop that. I’m speaking to you as a mother and women,” she said.
“I know some of you are doing this, because some of you don’t have food, but come to my office if you have a problem,” she said. “The food bank is coming. The food bank is here. Don’t go and sell yourself anymore my sister,” she intoned.
Mensah-Williams also urged young girls to refrain from sex at an early age, or to rather use condoms to prevent the rise of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well HIV infection.
“One hundred and twenty seven young women fall pregnant in Namibia every day. Over forty percent are between the age of ten and twenty-five. Girls, let use condoms. Namibia needs you and I need you,” she said.
According to a Southern African Development Community (SADC) report on health vulnerabilities of mobile populations and affected communities at the Port of Walvis Bay released earlier this year, it is estimated that at least 530 persons – of which more than a half are women – are offering sex in exchange for money at the Walvis Bay, with most of them being residents of the town.
The study was conducted in four countries with seaports, namely South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Namibia, with a focus on Walvis Bay.
Presenting the findings, Randholph Mouton of Sustainable Development Africa (Susdaf), said about 55 percent of sex workers at the town are female and trade sexual services for money with males, mainly foreign. “Twenty percent are male sex workers, who sell sex to other males, whilst 15 are transgender and trade with men,” he explained.
Five percent are males engaging in sexual activity with women, while three percent are females, who sell sex to other females. It was also found 67 percent of sex workers who participated in the study are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.
The study further revealed that sex workers are divided into at least in five categories. High-class sex workers reportedly earn up to N$3 000 per transaction.