Journal of the Department of Behavioural Sciences
Volume 3, Number 1
ABOLISHING THE STIGMA: THE COLLECTIVE STRUGGLE AND RIGHT TO SEXUAL SELF-DETERMINATION AMONG COMMERCIAL SEX WORKERS IN TWO LOCATIONS IN TRINIDAD
Rochelle Howe
This study, conducted in Trinidad, examined and documented whether a local Sex Workers' Movement has emerged through coalitions and the everyday resistances of commercial sex workers. To illustrate how such struggles relate to basic human rights advocacy, the study employed a qualitative methodology to flesh out two specific forms of sex work in two different locations. In particular, interviews were used to better understand the impact of socio-economic, cultural and political systems on the emergence of sex workers' rights activism and the challenge sex work creates in the transgression of societal notions of sexual norms. The study also explains how women's involvement in the sex trade has been shaped within the context of a globalising capitalist system and patriarchal hegemony. Conclusions from the study emphasised how stigma continues to surround the plausibility of sexual labour as a commodity and dominates current perceptions and societal unease.