Popular women’s magazine the Australian Women’s Weekly (AWW) has changed its focus recently, with its latest March issue cover promoting highly sexualised content. Headlines such as “Lust in the dust” and “When sex is your day job” are advancing a dangerously sexualised culture in our society, the latter being a feature article in the issue promoting the normalisation and attractiveness of prostitution

You can read a section of the article online here.

Prostitution is a social harm and experts agree. Dr Caroline Norma, lecturer at the School of Global Studies, Social Science & Planning at RMIT University says:There now exists a mountain of empirical research, not only from feminist social scientists, but also from psychologists, clinicians, nurses, anthropologists and economists, of the harms of prostitution for women. These harms include post-traumatic stress disorder, genital and other physical injuries, pregnancy, depression and anxiety, and social isolation. Overwhelmingly, the social science and health literature condemns prostitution as a source of harm to women, as well as children.” Read her opinion piece in The Age here.

The Australian Christian Lobby believes there needs to be sound policy planning for programs and initiatives to assist women to leave the sex industry and to re-build lives that reflect their own worth.  ACL has been advocating strongly for Australian governments to adopt the Nordic model of prostitution reform, which criminalises the purchase of sex.

Last year, ACL presented evidence linking legalised prostitution and sex trafficking to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. In the same year, ACL’s NSW Director David Hutt appeared before the Community Relations Commission’s inquiry into human trafficking and the exploitation of women in Sydney, where he argued that prostitution was an industry that exploited women and was driving a demand for trafficked women. ACL also argued that research from around the world had shown the success of the Swedish approach that prohibits the purchasing of sex.

The case of a man slashing an escort worker with a samurai sword in Melbourne last year highlights the need for urgent prostitution law reform to stop women being exposed to harm and injury in extremely vulnerable situations.

We encourage you to write to the editor of the AWW voicing your disagreement with their support of the objectification and exploitation of women.

To do so, email [email protected]