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We're on their trail, and we've got many fresh leads to chase down — please support our work. Shedding feelings of shame relies on the politicisation of a stigmatised identity, and on opening up new lines of action and resistance.
The openMovements series invites leading social scientists to share their research results and perspectives on contemporary social struggles. Protest against feminicide. Used with permission. Sex workers are a group that face major obstacles in terms of their political participation.
Another is the neo-abolitionist position which has led many people to propose the eradication of the sex trade due to its intermingling with trafficking. Both of these generate a context that produces shame for the majority of sex workers, making it difficult for them to vindicate themselves and fight for their rights.
This context is relatively recent: starting in the s — hand-in-hand with the cultural changes that stimulated the feminist movement — diverse groups of sex workers in different countries began to systematically voice their desire for sex work to be considered legal.
They participated in local gatherings and global meetings to confer on their working conditions, while some went on strike and others threatened to expose the identities of their clients.