‘No More on Our Streets and Not in Our Neighbourhoods’: Exploring Community Activism Against Sex Work

  • Habeeb Abdulrauf Salihu Department of Criminology and Security Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6049-5143
  • Salihu Zakariya Abdulbaqi Department of Sociology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Aliu Oladimeji Shodunke Department of Criminology and Security Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0352-3352
Keywords: Sex Work Industry, Sex Workers, Violence, Community Responses, Nigerian Sex Work Policies

Abstract

Sex work within the Nigerian context is generally regarded as a crime and shameful behaviour commonly perpetrated by women and/or girls who exchange sexual services with different people usually men for monetary or other benefits. This present study investigates an approach initiated by some communities in Ilorin metropolis of Kwara, Nigeria to eradicate sex work activities. The study adopted a qualitative research method. Three hundred and seven residents from 5 communities where brothel-based and street-based sex workers are predominant participated in the study. A range of sampling methods including criterion, convenience and venue-based sampling methods were used; in-depth interview was the instrument employed in data collection, and data analysis was done using thematic analysis. Results indicate that while the approach is effective in controlling sex workers’ activities, it inspires violence and normalises human rights abuses of sex workers in Ilorin metropolis. The paper suggests a need for a public campaign aimed at sensitising members of the communities about the fundamental rights of their fellow citizens which they are obliged to venerate as Nigerians.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Habeeb Abdulrauf Salihu, Department of Criminology and Security Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Habeeb Salihu: works at the Department of Criminology and Security Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.

Salihu Zakariya Abdulbaqi, Department of Sociology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Salihu Abdulbaqi:  works at the Department of Sociology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Aliu Oladimeji Shodunke, Department of Criminology and Security Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Aliu Shodunke: works at the Department of Criminology and Security Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.

References

Abdulsalam, A., A. (2012). Muslims of Kwara State: A Survey. Nigeria Research Network (NRN), Abuja.
Aborisade, R. and Fayemi, J. (2015). Violence and vulnerability: Exploring the exposure of street-based sex workers in Ibadan, Nigeria. Ago-Iwoye J. Soc. Behav. Sci. 4, 134–151.
Aborisade, R. A. and Oshileye, T. A. (2020). ‘Voiceless Victims’: Children Living in the Red-Light Areas of Ibadan, Nigeria. J. Vict. Vict. Justice, 1–19. DOI:10.1177/2516606920950564
Aborisade, R., A. (2018). Police abuse of sex workers in Nigeria: evidence from a qualitative study. Police Pract. Res., 20, 1–15. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2018.1500283
Aderinto, S. (2006). The Girls in Moral Danger”: Child Prostitution and Sexuality in Colonial Lagos, Nigeria, 1930s to 19501. J. Afr. Hist., 46, 115–137.
Ajayi, A. T. and Buhari, L., O. (2014). Methods of conflict resolution in African traditional society. African Res. Rev., 8, 138–157.
Albert, I. O., Hérault, G., Awe, T., and Omitoogun, W. (2013). Informal Channels for Conflict Resolution in Ibadan, Nigeria. Institut français de recherche en Afrique, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Alemayehu, M., Yohannes, G., Damte, A., Fantahun, A., Gebrekirstos, K., Tsegay, R., and Yebyo, H. (2015). Prevalence and predictors of sexual violence among commercial sex workers in Northern Ethiopia. Reprod. Health 12, 47. DOI:10.1186/s12978-015-0036-5
Alobor, E. and Ndifon, R. (2014). Addressing prostitution concerns in Nigeria: Issues, problems and prospects. Eur. Sci. J., 14, 36–47.
Bamgbose, O. (2000). Tenage prostitution and the future of the female adolescent in Nigeria. Int. J. Offender Ther. Comp. Criminol., 46, 569–585.DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/030662402236741
Baratosya, R. and Wendt, S. (2017). Outdated Laws, Outspoken Whores: Exploring sex work in a criminalised setting. Women’s Stud. Int. Forum 62, 34–42. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2017.03.002
Benoit, C., Jansson, S. M., Smith, M., and Flagg, J. (2018). Prostitution stigma and its effect on the working conditions, personal lives, and health of sex workers. J. Sex Res., 55, 457–471. DOI:10.1080/00224499.2017.1393652
Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual. Res. Psychol., 3, 77–101. DOI:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Cook, I., R. (2014). Making links between sex work, gender and victimisation: the politics and pedagogies of John Schools. Gender, Place Cult., 22, 817–832.
Cunningham, S. and Kendall, T., D. (2011). Prostitution 2.0: The changing face of sex work. J. Urban Econ., 69, 273–287. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jue.2010.12.001
Cunningham, S. and Kendall, T. D. (2011). Prostitution 2.0: The changing face of sex work. J. Urban Econ., 69, 273–287.
Deegan, H. (2008). Africa today: Culture, economics, religion, security. Routledge, New York.
Ejizu, C. I. (2016). Readings on Religion and Culture in Africa. M & J Grand Orbit Communications, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Falola, T. and Heaton, M.M. (2008). A history of Nigeria, History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511819711
Fawole, A. O., Ogunkan, D. V., and Adegoke, G. S. (2011). Sexual behaviour and perception of HIV/AIDS in Nigerian tertiary institutions: University of Ilorin, a case study. Glob. J. Hum. Soc. Sci., 11, 64–72.
Fawole, O. I. and Dagunduro, A., T. (2014). Prevalence and correlates of violence against female sex workers in Abuja, Nigeria. Afr. Health Sci., 14, 299–313. DOI:10.4314/ahs.v14i2.4
Fawole, A.O., Hunyinbo, K.I., Fawole, O.I. (2008). Prevalence of violence against pregnant women in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Aust. New Zeal. J. Obstet. Gynaecol, 48(4), 405-414. DOI:10.1111/j.1479-828X.2008.00868.x
Fereday, J. and Muir-Cochrane, E. (2006). Demonstrating rigor using thematic analysis: A hybrid approach of inductive and deductive coding and theme development. Int. J. Qual. methods, 5, 80–92. DOI:10.1177/160940690600500107
Gungul, T. and Audu, J. (2014). Prostitution as a social evil in Nigeria: Issues and challenges. Int. J. Peace Confl. Stud., 2, 29–36.
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (1999). Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria.
Lever, J. and Deanne, D. (2010). Call girls and street prostitutes: Selling sex and intimacy, in: Weitzer Ronald (Ed.), Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry. Routledge Press, pp. 187–203.
Muldoon, K. A., Akello, M., Muzaaya, G., Simo, A., Shoveller, J. and Shannon, K. (2017). Policing the epidemic: high burden of workplace violence among female sex workers in conflict-affected northern Uganda. Glob. Public Health, 12, 84–97.
Musto, J., Jackson, C.A., Shih, E. (2015). Prostitution and Sex Work, in: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition, 19, 279-285. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.86125-5
Na’Allah, A., R. (1994). Oral Tradition, Islamic Culture, and Topicality in the Songs of Mamman Shata Katsina and Omoekee Amao Ilorin. Can. J. African Stud. Rev. Can. des études africaines, 28, 500–515.
NBS (2016). Nigeria data portal: Nigeria census [WWW Document]. Niger. Census.
Nelson, E., U. (2018). Police crackdowns, structural violence and impact on the well-being of street cannabis users in a Nigerian city. Int. J. Drug Policy, 54. DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.01.012
Nnabugwu-Otesanya, B. E. (2005). A comparative study of prostitutes in Nigeria and Botswana. University of South Africa.
Nolte, I., Jones, R., Taiyari, K. and Occhiali, G. (2016). Research note: Exploring survey data for historical and anthropological research: Muslim–Christian relations in south-west Nigeria. Afr. Aff. (Lond). 115, 541–561. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adw035
O’Doherty, T. (2011). Victimization in off-street sex industry work. Violence Against Women. DOI:10.1177/1077801211412917
O’Neill, M. (2015). Enlightenment traditions, sacred objects and sacred cows in museums response to tiffany jenkins. Material Religion, 2(3), 359-370. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17432200.2006.11423057
Ogbeche, D. (2016). Commercial sex workers desert brothels as Task Force raids Lagos community. Retrieved on 28 January 2019 from URL: https://dailypost.ng/2016/01/31/commercial-sex-workers-desert-brothels-as-task-force-raids-lagos-community/
Okanlawon, K., Adebowale, A. S., and Titilayo, A. (2013). Sexual hazards, life experiences and social circumstances among male sex workers in Nigeria. Cult. Health Sex,. 15, 22–33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2012.754053
Open Society Foundation (2019). Understanding Sex Work in an Open Society. Retrieved on 21 December 2019 from URL: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/explainers/understanding-sex-work-open-society
Osezua, O., C. (2011). Cross-border sex trade, transnational remittances and changing family structures among Benin people of Southern Nigeria. Gend. Behav., 9, 4276–4297.
Pereira, C. (2005). Zina and transgressive heterosexuality in northern Nigeria. Fem. Africa, 5, 52–79.
Popoola, B. (2013). Occupational hazards and coping strategies of sex workers in southwestern Nigeria. Heal. Care Women Int., 34, 139–149. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07399332.2011.646366
Pratten, D. (2008). The Politics of Protection: Perspectives on Vigilantism in Nigeria. African Res. Rev., 78, 1–15.
Richter, M., Chersich, M., Temmerman, M., and Luchters, S. (2013). Characteristics, sexual behaviour and risk factors of female, male and transgender sex workers in South Africa. South African Med. J., 103, 246–251.
Salihu, H., A. and Fawole, O. A. (2020). Police Crackdowns, Human Rights Abuses, and Sex Work Industry in Nigeria: Evidence from an Empirical Investigation. Int. Crim. Justice Rev., 31, 40–58. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1057567720907135
Salihu, H.A. and Gholami, H. (2018). Mob justice, corrupt and unproductive justice system in Nigeria: An empirical analysis. Int. J. Law, Crime Justice, 55. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlcj.2018.09.003
Scorgie, F., Nakato, D., Harper, E., Richter, M., Maseko, S., Nare, P., Smit, J. and Chersich, M. (2013). ‘We are despised in the hospitals’: sex workers’ experiences of accessing health care in four African countries. Cult. Health Sex., 15, 450–465. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2012.763187
Sharpe, K. (2017). Coping with the Job., in: Karen Sharpe (Ed.), Red Light, Blue Light: Prostitutes, Punters and the Police. Routledge, London.
Surtees, R. (2013). Brothel raids in Indonesia- Ideal solution or further violation. Res. Sex Work, 6, 5 –7.
Tyoanande, G., T. and Samson, A., J. (2014). Prostitution as a Social Evil in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges. Int. J. Peace Confl. Stud., 2, 29–36.
United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (2014). Sex workers: Population size estimate. United Nations Program. Retrieved 21 December 2019 from URL http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?d=UNAIDS&f=inID%3A111
Wahab, S. and Panichelli, M. (2013). Ethical and human rights issues in coercive interventions with sex workers. J. Women Soc. Work, 28, 344–349.
Published
2022-06-30
How to Cite
Salihu, H., Abdulbaqi, S., & Shodunke, A. (2022, June 30). ‘No More on Our Streets and Not in Our Neighbourhoods’: Exploring Community Activism Against Sex Work. UKH Journal of Social Sciences, 6(1), 32-41. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.25079/ukhjss.v6n1y2022.pp32-41
Section
Research Articles