Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry (IWASI) is an unfunded group of radical feminists from many nations committed to ending patriarchy, colonialism, racism, and capitalism.
IWASI sees prostitution and pornography as forms of male violence against women. The misogyny inherent in these systems of women’s oppression is compounded by colonialism and racism, disproportionately harming Indigenous women and girls and our sisters of colour.
We are committed to abolishing prostitution and pornography, using public education and advocating for the decriminalization of prostituted women and girls, and the criminalization of johns, pimps, and sex industrialists. We are committed to not only advocating for legal change, but for true social change that improves the lives of all women and girls and recognizes our rights to safety, security, and freedom.
Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry (IWASI) is a group of Indigenous feminists that stand with women and girls affected by prostitution and pornography. We stand firm in our opposition to the sex industry: johns, pimps, and sex industrialists. IWASI works toward freedom and equality for all women and girls.
INDIGENOUS WOMEN AGAINST THE SEX INDUSTRY RECOGNIZES:
- The system of prostitution as a continued source of colonialism that has grave, if not lethal, consequences for Indigenous women and girls worldwide. The institution of prostitution is fundamentally opposed to our traditional ways of life where women and girls were valued, loved, and treated with the respect we deserve.
- Prostitution as a colonial system, an extension of the reserve system, the residential school system, and other colonial institutions that target Indigenous women and girls.
- The system of prostitution as an inherently patriarchal system that exists on a continuum of male violence that includes rape, incest, wife battery, emotional, sexual and physical assault. The system of prostitution requires the existence of inequality between women and men in order to exist. It relies and thrives on the unchallenged male demand for sexual access to the bodies of women and girls.
- The sex industry relies on capitalism and greed to justify its existence. We have seen and continue to see our homelands stolen from us and bought and sold to the highest bidder as “product”. We have seen and continue to see this colonial process applied to not only our precious homelands, but to the very bodies of our sisters and little sisters.
- The sex industry treats all women and girls as hated objects, and that hatred is amplified by racism. Overt racism is not only acceptable, but is sanctioned and encouraged by the sex industry. This industry, hierarchal in nature, places Indigenous women and girls and our sisters of colour on the bottom rungs, where we are subjected to the worst and most degrading forms of male violence.
INDIGENOUS WOMEN AGAINST THE SEX INDUSTRY STANDS AGAINST:
- The total decriminalization, legalization, or normalization of prostitution.
- The deceitful assumption that prostitution has always existed and that it will exist forever. We know from our Elders and Ancestors that there were times and places among Indigenous peoples where the sexual exploitation of women and girls did not exist.
- The misguided rhetoric of harm reduction. We assert our right to be safe, not safer. We assert our right to live full and meaningful lives and we reject the limitations placed on us by the harm reduction industry.
- Divisions among women created by the patriarchy in attempts to subdue the global women’s liberation movement.
- The colonial, patriarchal, capitalist, and racist institution of prostitution in all forms and we pledge to fight against this system for the benefit of women and girls everywhere and for our generations to come.
INDIGENOUS WOMEN AGAINST THE SEX INDUSTRY STANDS FOR:
- An immediate end to the male demand for paid sexual access to the bodies of women and girls worldwide.
- A global sisterhood that recognizes the leadership, knowledge, and wisdom of Indigenous women and girls in a fight for our lives, our lands and traditions, and our right to live free from male violence.
- The recognition of prostitution as a form of male violence against women and the implementation of the Nordic model of state policy as a way to advance women’s equality, especially benefiting Indigenous women and girls.
- The abolition of prostitution and a recognition of the rights of Indigenous women and girls to food, safe housing, lands, traditions, culture, language, health, spirituality, education and safety.
- A social re-construction of male sexuality based upon the recognition of women’s human rights, especially in regard to women’s sexual autonomy.
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