The Socialist Party has set in motion the machinery to pass a law aimed at abolishing prostitution. However, as women workers in this sector clearly explain, there are women who practice this profession freely and who want to continue to do so. That is why they have taken to the streets to defend the work that feeds them and have accused the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, who they say does not represent them. “Also we can sleep with whoever we want as she said so well during a meeting”, explains Rachel, prostitute by profession by choice. But she is not the only one to think this within the guild. “We we are feminists tooour yes is just as valid as yours,” he says. Angèle (@PPAAbolition)sex worker and president of the Platform of People Affected by the Abolition of Prostitution.
Like every morning, a discreet hotel located in the upscale Conde Orgaz district of Madrid wakes up with clients who come to receive sexual services. After presenting themselves to them, a dozen women engage in prostitution in the rooms of this establishment. The sound of the bells does not stop ringing and the cash register is filled with invoices from customers who pay in advance for the services rendered by the girls. They are apparently happy professionals, dressed in nightwear and of different nationalities. They work in a place where various surveillance cameras and a security button, available in all rooms, ensure their safety at work. It is also a very clean hotel in which they try to guarantee the cleanliness of the prostitutes so that they practice the profession with all the guarantees of hygiene.
Dozens of customers whose anonymity is assured without question come every day in this hotel. However, this activity could count its hours since the Socialist Party has designed a bill to abolish prostitution. “This law means that anyone who rents a room to a sex worker would be considered a pimp, so they throw us to exercise in the street where we have no guarantee of safety or cleanliness”, explains Ángela, a prostitute who covers an injured person in this place. Likewise, his partner Raquel also assures that this legislative text condemns them to hiding, thus increasing the obscurantism that this stigmatized profession lives when it is the oldest in the world.
Currently more than 150,000 women practice prostitution in Spain. However, not all of them are coerced by the mafias or victims of sexual slavery. “Prostitution is not trafficking, it’s day and night, most of our colleagues do it because they want to,” explains Raquel. And the data backs it up. According to the report Human Trafficking to Europe for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, only one in seven prostitutes are victims of trafficking, i.e. only 14% of sex workers do so under some form of coercion. In this way, it remains hidden that the statistics used by the government to support its bill are erroneous and do not come from a reliable source.
In order to protect their work, sex workers have come together in an association called Platform of people affected by abolition trying to stop this law. “we want rights and let’s protect our bread”, explains Ángela, the leader of this movement which has already organized numerous mobilizations throughout Spain. The last concentration took place in front of the Congress of Deputies where they took 300 letters written by workers in this sector in which they explain that they do not need the abolition of prostitution since they exercise it freely . In addition, they add, “many lawmakers and MPs know their jobs very well.” Yet socialists insisted on ending this trade stifled by historical moralism. “Even if they want to ban prostitution, it will not disappear”, insists Ángela, who has been practicing the profession for more than ten years.