MEPs water down proposals on sexual exploitation and prostitution
The European Parliament today voted on a report from the Women's Rights Committee on measures to tackle prostitution. GUE/NGL shadow on the report, Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber said that the report had important successes, despite some contradictions that remain in the final version and that were not in the report as adopted in the Women's rights and Gender Equality Committee.
“96% of prostitutes in the world are women and today they were largely neglected by the European Parliament,” she said in reaction to the vote. “Prostitution clearly contributes to the perpetuation of inequality between men and women and is a form of violence. It's not an old profession, but an old form of violence against women, reflecting the social and economic inequalities of a capitalism that believes that everything is marketable, including intimacy, treating women as commodities and using them for profit,” she said calling for pimps and customers to be criminalised rather than prostitutes.
“I regret the watering down of this text, compared to the version that was adopted in our committee,” said Swedish MEP and Chair of Parliament's Women's Rights Committee, Mikael Gustafsson. “However, as a firm believer in gender equality and women's rights I am happy that MEPs have highlighted that the Nordic model of criminalising the buyers of sexual services is an effective way to combat trafficking and reduce prostitution and abuse.”
“Prostitution is not a normal job and pimps are not businessmen. If we want gender equality we need to realise that a progressive view of women's sexuality goes hand in hand with stopping the trade of women's bodies,” he concluded.
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