By Kthi Win
Plenery speech by Kaythi Win, Chairperson of Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, at Association of Women in Development Forum forum in Istanbul on April 21, 2012. See the exciting video here.
I am Kthi Win from Myanmar and I am a sex worker. I manage a national organization for female, male & transgender sex workers in Burma & I am also the chairperson of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers. Until now, organizing anything in Myanmar has been very difficult. And people ask, “how did you set up a national program for sex workers?” And my answer to them is “Our work is illegal. Every night we manage to earn money without getting arrested by the police. We used to work and organize together, so we use this knowledge in order to work out how we can set up the National Network without making the government angry”.
This topic is about transforming economic power. I want to say to you, that when a woman makes the decision to sell sex, she has already made the decision to empower herself economically. What we do in organizing sex workers, is we build on the power that the sex worker has already taken for herself – the decision to not be poor.