Zim records surge in sex workers

ZIMBABWE has recorded an increase in commercial sex workers, with Harare adjudged to be the biggest red-light district, a new survey by the National Aids Council (Nac), Health and Child Care ministry and the Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network has revealed.

A recent survey by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) revealed that 59,6% of women in the country were unemployed and many of them were apparently turning to commercial sex work to make ends meet, according to the recent report.

In the report titled Zimbabwe’s situational analysis of drug use and injection in five provinces to form HIV and TB programming for people who use drugs, Nac and partners noted that: “In Harare the most often mentioned source of income is sex work (36,07%); the higher rate in this province is linked to the mobilisation strategy, which include recruitment of respondents in an area where sex work takes place.”

The report said in Mashonaland Central, sex work was the third most often mentioned source of income (18,64%).

“Sex work was fourth in Mashonaland West (15,25%). Bulawayo (16,98%) and Mashonaland Central (13,56%) had the highest number of participants reporting not to be earning any money,” the report read.

The report also revealed that 24,91% of people were not formally employed, but owned small-scale businesses.

“In all provinces, except Harare, more than 40% of participants reported occasional jobs as their main sources of income. The second most often mentioned source was small-scale business (24,91% of the total sample),” the report said.

The recent ZimStat 2022 population and Housing Census preliminary results on the labour force revealed that the national unemployment rate stood at 14,8%.

“Across all provinces, unemployment was higher for females than males. In Matabeleland North, 31,6% of females and 17, 9% of males were unemployed. –Newsday

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