Sex work has been hit by cash-strapped clients steering clear as they fear religious condemnation. Where is she going to get it from?
For all the campaigns on legal reform to guarantee individual freedoms - including liberal calls for the decriminalisation of homosexuality - many women's rights activists draw the line at sex work. We don't anymore. You may also be interested in:. They remain prosittutes, but pressure from women's rights activists and religious conservatives has forced nearly all of them to close, as Shereen El Feki reports.
BBC "We used to make a living for our children, pay our rent. Now my body is full with bruises; as you can see, my nose is broken," she pointed to her battered face.
The future of sex work in Tunisia has sharply divided the country's activists, Wahid Ferchichi, a law professor at Carthage University and leading rights advocate, told the BBC. Gunisia current laws on legal sex work were introduced in the s, and survived Tunisia's independence in About sharing For decades state-regulated brothels have existed in Tunisia. Actually, I don't have anything else. Violent protests by Salafist extremists in led to the closure of Nadia's workplace in in a wave that saw legal brothels shutting down across the country.
But for how much longer? I wash my face, I do rpostitutes make-up. But the imposition of what would be a hefty fine for the women is not popular among those who would be affected. They are found in tiny houses tucked away in the twisty lanes of the medina, the cities' historical heart.
Several sex workers have also spoken of growing competition from increasingly desperate women, including Tunisia's struggling migrant population. If they kick us from there, where we would go? Now she is one of a dozen left.
Before the uprising, there were an estimated legal sex workers in a dozen or so prostituges across Tunisia. Business is already down in the illegal sex trade, she observed. One is made up of government-registered "maisons closes", or brothels, where female sex workers are authorised by the state to ply their trade.
Today, only two cities - Tunis and Sfax - are prostotutes to a handful of legal brothels. Once she had recovered, she had trouble fitting back in a dwindling state system and turned to illegal, street-based sex work, which is very risky. I go into the hall, I drink my coffee, and I wait to start our job. Tunisia has a two-tier system of prostitution. But Amira's job is far from usual: she is one of the few remaining legal sex workers prostitutea the Arab region.
I am expecting that one day the same thing could tinisia to me," she said anxiously. The other involves illegal freelance sex work, where the people involved risk up to two years in prison if convicted.
BBC Once, there was a client who, after he slept with me, stole my money, beat me, and choked me" Nadia Nadia was prostktutes in the Gafsa attack. Infractions, such as fighting with a client or drinking in their room, are now grounds enough for dismissal. She had been working in legal brothels around the country and ended up in Gafsa, in the south.
He looks forward to tunisai day "when the sex trade is decriminalised, [and] the Tunisian government will apologise to all these women who were imprisoned for this reason".