A local non-governmental organisation has partnered the National Aids Council (NAC) in coming up with projects to empower prostitutes in Gweru.
The Centre for Sexual Health and HIV and Aids Research in Zimbabwe (CeSHHAR) has devised various measures aimed at reducing the risk of acquiring HIV among prostitutes.
Speaking to journalists who were on a recent visit to a CeSHHAR project at Gwapa Farm in Gweru, CeSHHAR outreach worker, Sekai Dembaremba said:
We have among our projects the economic strengthening training, which is ongoing for a group of sex workers here in Gweru.
We have a group of 30 sex workers who are part of the training. The training is meant to impart in the sex workers the financial, marketing and business skills necessary to help their businesses grow.
NAC Gweru district co-ordinator, Murari Hwingwiri, told The Sunday Mail that the project is meant to empower the women economically and also to deal with health and other issues affecting them. He said:
The project is aimed at empowering these girls economically to address their vulnerabilities on economic factors. Studies from other countries show that this approach tries to address the economic vulnerability that puts sex workers at increased risk of acquiring HIV.
Sex workers usually complain that they are discriminated against at health institutions, hence, through CeSHHAR, health and other issues affecting them can be dealt with through their own platform.