Inspector reigns over sex workers, Midweek Sun

Date: January 1, 1970
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The article is about a police inspector who abuses Zimbabwean sex workers.

This article may be used to:
1. Prompt discussion around sex work, gender and HIV/AIDS.
2. Demostrate how sex worker rights are often violated.
3. Prompt discussion about the legal system and gender based violence.
Trainer’s Notes: The article missed several opportunities to deal with gender, poverty and HIV/AIDS.  The article does not explain why Zimbabwean women are working as sex workers in Botswana, neither does it deal with the socio-economic conditions that lead women to engage in sex work in a foreign country. By failing to contextualise the article properly, the severity of the allegations made against the police officer are undermined.  The article quotes sources that state that the allegations are unfounded but the article fails to state whether any investigation was conducted, which again undermines the severity of the allegations.
Discussion Questions:
1. What are the gender issues relating to sex work (the inequality of women, the lack of access to employment and other resources, the vulnerability of women in sex work and the impact on their ability to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS).
2. What are the links between sex work and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
3. Is there anything missing from the story ? Is the coverage balanced ?
Training exercises:
1. Trainees can be asked to rewrite the article or write a new article keeping the above mentioned aspects in mind.
2. Using other clippings related to sex work, identify trends in coverage, and then outlne how media can better cover the issue.
Links to Training Resources: Gender and HIV/AIDS: A Training Manual for Southern African Media and Communicators, Gender Links and the AIDS Law Project, Chapter 8 and Chapter 10

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