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ICRSE and members join International Women's Day and launch new Intersectional Activism Toolkit for Sex Workers and Allies

To mark the 2018 International Women’s Day, ICRSE is publishing the final element of its Intersection Series: ‘Intersectional Activism Toolkit for Sex Workers and Allies’. This toolkit summarises each Intersection Briefing Paper developed over the last three years on sex workers' rights as migrant rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, labour rights and right to health issues. It furthermore includes an infographic on sex work legal frameworks and recommendations to sex workers and allies on how to build intersectional social justice movements, inclusive of all sex workers.

In a context of increased backlash against women’s and reproductive rights and cuts to public services for women such as shelters for victims of domestic violence, many women’s movements in Europe and globally are witnessing a vocal resurgence and anger. From the international #metoo campaign on social media to protests against sexual harassment and powerful abortion rights campaigns and demonstrations in Ireland and Poland, the feminist movement continues to loudly demand gender equality and an end to gender-based violence. However, the women’s rights movement is still divided on the issue of sex work, with many organisations calling for a punitive approach to sex work and the criminalisation of clients, despite evidence of its negative impacts on sex workers’ lives and working conditions.

This year, ICRSE members continue to organise and advocate for the inclusion of sex workers in the women’s rights movement by joining protests and actions, building dialogues and bridges with feminist organisations or organising their own events. Some examples:

- In the UK, sex workers have taken a leading role in coordinating the Women Strike and will be part of many events around the country. The Women Strike calls for a strike against the conditions in all women’s work, paid or unpaid, visible and invisible - including domestic work and sex work!

- In Poland, sex workers joined the Women’s March in Warsaw, that took place on 4th March 2014, and spoke publicly against stigma and criminalisation.

- In Ireland, members of SWAI will join the main women’s rights demonstration calling for a repeal of the blanket ban on abortion, to be voted on in a nation-wide referendum this May.

- In Spain, whilst sex workers’ demands were erased from the Feminist manifesto to be read on the 8th of March in Madrid, the strong sex worker community in Barcelona achieved that sex workers’ demands were included despite great opposition from the establishment. Sex workers will also participate in the night protests and actions in collaboration with the migrant and decolonial movement and were offered space to read their demands.

- In Norway, following the previous year’s harassment of sex workers and destruction of their banners, PION will march under the banner ‘Listen to us!’ with LGBT and HIV organisations calling for the inclusion of trans people and sex workers in the women’s rights movement.

- In the Netherlands, PROUD Nederland Board Member, Dinah de Riquet-Bons will talk about trans and sex workers' rights and AIDS awareness during the International Women's Day Festival.

- In France, members of STRASS, who are usually not welcomed in the official feminist demonstration will take part in a debate with afro-feminists about sisterhood and the inclusion of poor women and women of colour in the women’s movement.

To download and read ICRSE's 'Intersectional Activism Toolkit for Sex Workers and Allies’, click here or on the cover below. The tool kit is also available in Polish. Click here for the Polish version.



To download and use the accompanying infographics in multiple languages, click on the links below:


- English, in pdf and png page 1 and page 2

- Spanish, in pdf and png page 1 and page 2

- French, in pdf and png page 1 and page 2

- Romanian, in pdf and png page 1 and page 2

- Russian, in pdf and png page 1 and page 2

- Greek, in pdf and png page 1 and page 2

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