Sodfa Daaji

Sodfa Daaji is a tunisian-italian feminist-abolitionist engaged in Europe and Africa. She advocates for women’s rights, and her activism focuses particularly on how culture, tradition and religion affect the achievement of women’s rights.

She is currently the hubs coordinator of Afrika Youth Movement, a youth-led Movement with more than 10.000 members engaged across Africa and Diaspora. She is also an individual member of the European Network of Migrant Women.

“Young people driving social equality” session

I think that the view of young people on prostitution vary: we have young people who consider prostitution as a form of violence, and young people who think that prostitution is a choice. To make it simple, young people who understands that buying human beings for sex is a crime, and young people who don’t understand the damages of prostitution on women.

In this topic, it is important to talk about the view on prostitution of young men, and how this view is affected by the patriarchal view within the society of women’s body, the strong presence of pornography, and the language used. How many violence is present in words such as buying and clients. Then, it is important to talk about how and in which ways young, and generally young girls, are involved in this topic. The narrative against the nordic model goes around having a progressive view of women’s bodies, of choices and the importance to be independent about what we choose to do with our bodies. I see this narrative including sex trafficking and exploitation when it comes easier to them. I heard people going around and saying that they are against any form of exploitation, but I barely see them starting a conversation with survivors and brave women who are successfully outside it.

I am hearing continuously people mentioning how the society has changed, and some mentioning capitalism, because for them violence is doing a job that is not well paid.

In the first place, what I defend, is that prostitution is not a job. Prostitution is women forced by multiple factors to enter it, and the psychological and physical effects are the result of years of mental and physical abuse. Prostitution is giving to men the power through money to buy the body of a woman, to force her in different acts. It is simply the way for men to legally buy the consent of a woman. Women in prostitution have to endure social exclusion, silence, and a big effort to protect their soul from the different abuses they face everyday.

When it comes to transgender: I come from Italy, a country in where trans people face daily socially exclusion, and they are forced in prostitution to survive. It ends with several crimes, drug addiction and an environment that they were not expecting for themselves. How this kind of violence can be a form of empowerment to women and transgender people? How this narrative can still go around?

I absolutely defend Nordic Model: Full decriminalisation of those who are prostituted, including clearing their criminal records. We must stand for victims, and do not allow anymore a system in where victims become perpetrators. I stand for the change of the language: it is not sex working, is prostitution. It is not client, it is abusers. Buying human beings for sex is a crime, this is what I stand for.

Finally, we need more platforms in where youth are engaged, in where women are engaged. We need to be more heard and start to break all the myths around the Nordic Model. Among us there are a lot of brave women who are spending their life to advocate for the Nordic Model and to break a system in where men are legitimate to buy women’s body.

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