By: Nasir Al-Amin
At 8 pm a woman in Ethiopia will prepare her daughter for bed, as she prepares herself for work. Although she works more than a 7 hour shift, on average 10 hours a night, she will only earn around $2.50-$3.50 a night. Beyond preparing herself outwardly, she prepares herself mentally for what the night might bring: physical and sexual assault (slapped, punched, and forced to perform sexual acts), mental abuse, theft, ridicule (from authorities and street gangs) as well as the pain and fear of leaving her daughter alone at home.
Everyday in Ethiopia, thousands of young girls and women (some as young as 15) are in the throes of commercial sex work. Poverty has exploited their orphanhood and/or destitute state. This is an uncomfortable truth, but it is their truth, and thus our truth!