No-movement days hurting Back Road sex workers

September 03, 2021

A woman takes a shower stark naked in a motel parking lot on Port Henderson Road, more commonly known as Back Road in Portmore, St Catherine.

Still in the nude, she welcomes THE WEEKEND STAR team with a smile. For her and the other sex workers, the no-movement days implemented by the Government to contain the spread of COVID-19 have been cramping their hustle.

"The clients dem busy because dem have to use the little time whe dem get to take care of dem business and tend to dem family. A lot of dem nuh wah stay in but dem nuh have any choice," she said. The women, who occupy small rooms at the motels along Back Road, pay $1,500 daily for rental and this has put a dent in their pockets.

"On the days dem whey yuh can move, the time limited bad. Right now mi just ago try work a ting to buy some groceries that can last mi until when di place open back," one of the women said. Another woman said that if the Government gave them grants to attend school or start businesses, she would leave the street.

Six children mi have

"A lot of times we cry tears when we have to go out there because is a life and death situation. Nuff time we sit and comfort each other when we realise say a time to go road because going out there is like a heavy burden but we have mouths to feed," she said. "Is six children mi have and dem father dead. Mi father dead earlier this year so mi have to help take care of mi mother and brothers too. Nuff time it come in like a piece a burden come down on mi but mi have to do what mi have to."

Another sex worker admitted that they sometimes venture out on the no-movement days "to see if we can hussle".

"But it dry bad. Nothing nah gwan and when we see police a pass, we have to take away we self," she said. Another woman, who washes for the sex workers, says the new measures force her to find other ways to make ends meet.

"Thank God mi can clean house and do hair and dem tings deh. Di lockdown a mash up all a we," she said.

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