AMMAR celebrates its 20 years of struggle

  • April 8, 2015
  • News

ammarTwo decades ago was born the Association of Female Sex Workers of the Argentine (AMMAR), an association that supports women sex workers in Argentina. AMMAR is under the purview of the Central de Trabajadores de Argentina (Confederation of workers of Argentina). Thanks to the individual contribution in resources, time and militancy, AMMAR was expanded to the whole country.

The night of March 11th was a celebration accompanied by significant leaders of the trade union movement, politics, and civil society organizations. During the ceremony, Georgina Orellano, General Secretary of AMMAR said: “we are very happy to be able to celebrate with the fellow workers, who built this organization and remember those who gave life for the fight (…) Our work is like any other, we use different tools, but our rights as workers have to be equal to those of the rest of the working class of our country”.

During the event the candidacy of Georgina Orellano to legislator by the city of Buenos Aires was presented as part of Alternativa Buenos Aires (ALBA), a left party that has been growing inside and outside the Capital. This would be the first time in the history of the Argentina that a woman sexual worker is electoral candidate, which for sure will open a series of new opportunities to work from the inside of the party structures.

“For the first time in Argentina a sex worker has the possibility to reach a legislative position. This is a place of great importance in particular to each one of us (…) We believe this is the ability to take one step further to ensure that our voices are heard in all places where political decisions are being made (…) We want to achieve equal labor rights as any other person who belongs to a working-class.”

The nomination has already generated reactions inside and outside the party. Some women leaders argue that “prostitution cannot be defined as sex work, as if it was a freely job elected in conditions of equality.”

We have already reflected on this space about the differences that exist in some sectors of the movement of women and parties that are based on an abolitionist stance. The reality is that there is broad international consensus that establishes that sex work is work, which includes multiple agencies of the United Nations and particularly the International Labor Organization.

In addition, the movement of female sex workers for more than two decades has been building their identity and their labor demands. And this should pay academic and ideological arguments that attempt to govern what others are or should be, for example, victims. It is worthwhile stressing that many of these positions and discussions are not exempt from some degree of theoretical and verbal violence, and we should infer that they contribute to hinder the discussion of the law.

We note also that the vision and political generosity of AMMAR allowed the construction and consolidation of the Latin-American and the Caribbean network of female sex workers (RedTraSex).