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The Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World at the Lebanese American University in cooperation with KAFA (enough) Violence and Exploitation held a lecture on Thursday, April 8, 2010, entitled

“International Situation on Prostitution and Trafficking in Human Beings: A Feminist Analysis”

The lecture was given by Ms. Gunilla S. Ekberg.

A Swedish/Canadian lawyer, university lecturer, and long term feminist activist. She has been a feminist activist since she was 15 or 16 and she was a part of the movement in Sweden that resulted in the number of women in the parliament going from 23% to 45%, and in the criminalization of purchasing another human being.

Last week, KAFA’s draft for reform was adopted by the council of ministers and hopefully soon the parliament will adopt it as well. Click here to know more.

The purpose of this lecture was to increase awareness that prostitution is a form of violence. Women in prostitution, although it may seem otherwise, do not have a choice. It is not a profession, prostitution is a last resort, when all else fails!

Prostitution is now regarded as a business. As long as there is a demand there will be a supply. The way to get rid of the demand is to recognize that prostition is in fact a form of violence against women and to strive for the criminalization of purchasing another human being, and the decriminalization of the women who are in prostitution. Instead of punishing these women we need to extend a helping hand, and provide alternate work opportunities, and a non-judgmental attiude towards those looking to get out of prostituion.

Audio of the lecture is available and will be posted soon.