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Sex work is a path that dozens of women around the country have been engaging in for some time now. While majority of the population is aware of the activity, it remains taboo for many and unacceptable for most. With a first glance at prostitution in Belize, we join Renee Trujillo. In either form, the repayment is in sexual favors but according to Elisa Castellanos of the Tikkun Olam Belize advocacy group for sex workers, there is more to it than just sexual intercourse.
But it really taught me a lot about myself as a woman, my power and that there are very wealthy men out there willing to pay me for my company because of my intellect and that intellectual stimulation that I can provide. While many have frowned upon sex workers or prostitutes, Castellanos says there is a certain empowerment that it gives to the woman engaged in that activity.
She elaborated on the forms of empowerment that it brings including economic freedom. It needs to come from a place where you own your body, you own your choice, you know your power as woman and you love that and nobody can take that away from you. I am not saying that a woman needs to be a sex worker to be empowered but what I am saying that when you discover that Love for yourself and you discover your balance, your power as a woman and your ability to use your womanhood to pull yourself forward; now I am not saying that sleeping around with people is to move yourself forward but that sense of power coming from knowing who you are as a human being; having a clear vision of where you want to go in your life, that is empowerment and so we really want young women to discover that; women, sex workers to discover that and so the reception has been amazing.
Belizeans are at this time waking up. I really believe that if sex work is regulated in Belize we can deter trafficking. With Castellanos leading the organization to support and improve the quality of the life of sex workers, her outreach to individuals and other agencies has been ongoing.
Williams at a function in Belmopan when we participated in the validation workshop for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights under the Foreign Ministry and so we have been doing a lot of that networking, a lot of that introduction and the reception really has been overwhelmingly positive. With all this said, there are many questions that come to mind including what the factors are that contribute or motivates a woman to engage in sex work.