Creating Opportunities? Economic Empowerment, Political Positioning and Participation of Sex Workers in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Recently, empowerment, political positioning and participation of sex workers have become issues on the global human rights agenda. Locally, however, sex workers remain vulnerable, stigmatized and excluded. This research addresses the specific context of sex work(ers) in Ethiopia and Kenya by conducting a research projects in three phases. Using a stakeholder analysis, the first component maps strategic actors´ practices and policies, including tensions and collaboration with sex workers. The second focuses on economic empowerment and its potential to contribute to financial stability, increase resilience, and prevent HIV/AIDS. These two components converge in the third action-oriented phase aimed at sharing knowledge to generate change. Uniquely, this program involves local and regional stakeholders throughout the research project. Hence, it develops strategic and context specific knowledge essential for inclusive development of sex workers, strengthening social and economic capital of their communities, and advancing and sharing knowledge to achieve human rights goals.