“Ashawo No be Work,” But…

The upcoming remake of the classic Nollywood movie “Domitilla” has sparked a renewed conversation about prostitution in Nigeria. While the movie’s promoters have declared that “ashawo no be work” meaning prostitution is not a job, the reality on the ground is that there are around 150,000 active sex workers in Nigeria, and a sex economy, run by thousands of shady individuals, patronized by thousands of men and women and supported by local arrangements and even law enforcement.

The film – Domitilla – portrays the harsh realities of the sex industry in Nigeria, highlighting the difficulties that women face when they resort to prostitution to make ends meet, including the risks of exploitation, violence, abuse, and the lack of protection from the law. It also sheds light on the role of pimps and traffickers in the sex industry, who prey on vulnerable women and children, and the need for urgent action to curb their activities.

Furthermore, the sugar daddy economy is another issue that exacerbates the problem of prostitution in Nigeria. Young women often engage in sexual relationships with older, wealthy men, in exchange for financial or material benefits. These relationships are often transactional and exploitative, leaving the young women vulnerable to abuse and neglect.

The problem of prostitution in Nigeria is rooted in poverty, unemployment, and the lack of opportunities for education and skills acquisition. To address this, the government must provide better opportunities for job creation and skills acquisition to reduce the number of women who turn to prostitution to make ends meet.

However, it’s also important to note that not all women who engage in prostitution do so out of desperation. Some women choose to engage in sex work as a means of earning a living, and it is essential that they are not stigmatized or criminalized for doing so. While prostitution remains illegal in Nigeria, there is a need for stronger laws and policies to protect women from exploitation and abuse.

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To tackle the issue of prostitution in Nigeria, all stakeholders must come together to address the underlying factors that contribute to the growth of the sex industry. The government must prosecute pimps, traffickers, and those who facilitate the growth of the sex industry. Women who engage in prostitution should be given access to health services, legal protection, and rehabilitation programs to help them transition out of the industry.

In conclusion, the remake of the Domitilla movie serves as a wake-up call to the Nigerian government and society at large to address the issue of prostitution and its associated challenges. It is time for all stakeholders to come together to tackle the underlying issues that drive women to engage in prostitution and to protect vulnerable women from exploitation and abuse.

Image source: silverbirdcinemas fab.ng

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