Some women do choose to work in the sex industry, but it is important to stress that this is a very small minority of people – the vast majority are forced into prostitution, empower, a platform of women’s organisations, said.
In a statement, emPOWer once again feels that it needs to comment on the recent statements made by the Parliamentary Secretary, Hon. Rosianne Cutajar, regarding her push towards the reform to decriminalise prostitution.
emPOWer said it feels disillusioned that Cutajar wants to push ahead with a reform that will have adverse effects to the already vulnerable women that are caught in this industry. The Hon Cutajar should be at the forefront working towards protecting these women.
It is extremely misleading to state that the women’s organisations were put at the centre of this reform – and then completely ignore the experienced advice which these 46 + NGOs have put forward. And just in case it is not clear on this, emPOWer would like to once again affirm that with the proposed legislation regarding Prostitution, the best way forward is to follow the proposal made by the 46+ NGOs and also supported by The Former President of Malta, HE Marie Louise-Coleiro Preca, that is to follow the Nordic Model, which is to decriminalise the seller and criminalise the buyer.
In this scenario, sex workers are empowered and have options to get help if they need to. They do not have to leave their life choices in the hands of pimps who, after all, only have their own agenda in mind – that which definitely does not protect the rights and wellbeing of these vulnerable women.
emPOWer forms part of a coalition of 46+ NGOs, comprising of mostly women’s groups and experts in gender equality. Together it advocates not only to decriminalise the prostitute and set up robust exit and support programmes, but it also believes that the way forward is to have sex-buying to be a criminal act.
emPOWer is a platform for organisations for women. In coming together under one umbrella, these organizations work to promote positive change and advocate to eliminate barriers to gender equality where these exist. Since April 2017, the initiative was facilitated and supported by the Former President of Malta, HE Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and the former President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. The Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society continues to support emPOWer.