March 3rd is International Sex Worker Rights Day. The day has its origins in incredible activism for rights in South Asia. In 2001 over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival organized by the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (or DMSC), a Calcutta based group whose membership consists of 65,000 sex workers. As a result of this convening and with a desire to acknowledge the collective power of sex workers’ communities, the DMSC proposed that sex workers of all genders and their allies observe March 3rd as “Sex Workers Rights Day.” Since the early 2000s sex workers around the world have celebrated International Sex Worker Rights Day with cultural events, public demonstrations, community pot lucks, and the release of reports about rights.
A KISS FOR GABRIELA has been included in events honoring March 3rd and Women’s Herstory Month. Last night A KISS FOR GABRIELA was screened by SWOP-Chicago as part of an event honoring sex worker activism all around the world and today at 2 pm the City University of New York will show the film as a Spring 2014 Women’s HerStory Month event (for more information, please send an email to email@example.com). This Friday March 7th at 7 pm Holding Our Own (the women’s foundation of New York State’s Capital Region) will host a screening and a thought-provoking, open discussion about sex worker activism. The event will be held at The Women’s Building, 373 Central Avenue, Albany, NY.
This month A KISS FOR GABRIELA is joining organizations calling for US-wide and international action on March 14, 2014 to support Monica Jones’ campaign for the rights of transgender people and sex workers. Monica Jones, a human rights defender in Arizona and an advocate for the rights of transgender people and sex workers, was profiled and wrongfully arrested for “manifestation of prostitution” by a police sting operation and anti-prostitution diversion program known as “Project ROSE”. On March 14 at 8.30 am US MST Monica’s case will go to trial at Phoenix Municipal Court. Simultaneously on March 14, two sex worker rights advocates will be at the United Nations in Geneva to bring international attention to Monica’s trial and the ongoing human rights violations occurring in Phoenix and across the United States. Members of the Kiss for Gabriela team will be at the court in Phoenix on March 14 to bring you the latest updates.