‘We’re not going to lose the war’: Women in China’s ‘feminist’ brothels open up about their working conditions
More than 200 women who work as prostitutes have taken their story to the streets of Beijing in a bid to pressure the government to tackle the sex industry in the capital.
More than 400 of the women, some of whom were recruited from local brothelms, spoke out in the first public testimony to the government’s anti-sexism law, which comes into force on March 1.
The women were paid between 60 yuan ($7.60) and 100 yuan ($16) for each transaction.
Their testimonies were published on the eve of the new anti-trafficking law, the “Bolivian National Commission for Human Rights”, which has been criticised for not adequately addressing the issue.
The brothel owners said they were not happy with the governments approach to prostitution, and that the women had been tricked into working for them.
The commission’s chairman, Yimin Xu, said the women were not paid enough for their work and that they had not received proper compensation for their labor.
Xu said the brothel workers had been promised a job in the sex trade, but were instead forced to work in brothells in order to make money.
“We have to protect our livelihoods, and we’re not willing to lose it, said Xu, who is also the head of the Beijing-based Global Alliance for Human Trafficking, which supports the women.”
The problem is that we’ve been misled into thinking that prostitution is an alternative to the market,” she said.
The testimonies come as a campaign is underway to encourage more women to speak out about working in the brothelvs.
On Friday, a group of women in Beijing called the International Working Women Network organised a protest calling for the establishment of a commission to investigate and punish sex workers.
The group said in a statement on Sunday that the campaign would also focus on “the human rights abuses against sex workers in China, including human trafficking, forced prostitution, trafficking, and sexual violence”.
The campaign will include rallies and rallies around the country on March 16 and 18.
China’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs has not yet responded to a request for comment.