Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte have embarked on a week-long strike to press home their demand for inclusion in the group of front-line workers receiving priority COVID-19 vaccines.
The strike action which began on Monday almost turned violent on Wednesday when police tried to disperse the protesting sex workers who took to the streets and carried placards with various inscriptions such as: “Health ministry please include us sex workers as a priority vaccine group,” “Sex workers are a priority group,” and “Sex workers are health professionals too.”
President of the Association of Prostitutes of Minas Gerais state, Cida Vieira, who is one of the organisers of the protest, said the pandemic had forced the city council to close hotels in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte, thereby forcing thousands of prostitutes to solicit for clients on the street.
She said: “We are a priority group, we are health educators, peer educators. We form part of that group since we give information about STIs for men and distribute condoms.
“We are in the front line, moving the economy and we are at risk. We need to get vaccinated.”
Another sex worker, Lucimara Costa, added: “We are part of the priority group because we deal with various types of people and our lives are at risk.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed 332,000 people in Brazil, a toll second only to the United States.
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...
INVESTIGATION…PARKVIEW ESTATE: Exclusive images of how billionaire property developer incurred Lagos govt‘s anger
Many have seen the demolished building, but not many know the circumstances that led to the teardown of the about...
INVESTIGATION… N.3bn down the drain, as Enugu communities suffer from dry taps
In November 2020, three organizations and the Enugu State government celebrated the completion of N300 million worth of projects that were expected...
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....