In a thought-provoking statement, Peter Salasya has weighed in on the debate surrounding the issue of prostitution, challenging the commonly proposed solution of encouraging men to stop purchasing sex. Salasya questions the effectiveness of focusing solely on the demand side, suggesting that without sellers, there would be no market for buyers to engage in.
The crux of Salasya’s argument lies in the analogy of a marketplace, where he contends that the act of selling precedes the act of buying. By using the metaphor of a shop (duka), Salasya asserts that the decision to open a store is made by the seller, and only afterward do customers come in. This perspective challenges the conventional wisdom that addressing the demand for commercial sex is the primary means of tackling the issue of prostitution.
The phrase “Duka ndio hufunguliwa kabla ya customer wakuje” (The shop is opened before the customer arrives) encapsulates Salasya’s viewpoint, emphasizing the proactive role of sellers in initiating transactions. This assertion aligns with the idea that focusing on preventing the supply of commercial sex may be an alternative approach to addressing the problem.
Salasya goes further to advocate for the closure of these metaphorical “shops” (duka zifungwe), suggesting that curbing the supply of commercial sex is a crucial step in addressing the larger issue of prostitution. This perspective challenges the traditional narrative that often places the responsibility on the demand side, urging men to abstain from purchasing sex.
The statement also alludes to the power dynamics involved in commercial sex work, highlighting the agency of those providing the services. By focusing on the suppliers, Salasya underscores the need to address the root causes that lead individuals to engage in sex work and advocates for comprehensive strategies that consider both sides of the equation.
While Salasya’s viewpoint may spark debate and varied opinions, it adds a nuanced perspective to the ongoing discourse on prostitution. By challenging the conventional narrative and urging a more holistic approach, Salasya prompts a reconsideration of how society approaches the complex issue of commercial sex work, calling for a more comprehensive understanding that includes addressing the factors that drive individuals to participate in the trade.