It is a widely accepted fact that the oldest profession in the world is prostitution. Women have been “selling” their bodies for money from time immemorial, and even a certain Jewish Messiah is rumored to have patronized the services of one or two in his time. The “profession”, though frowned upon, has gone through its phases over the years and grown more sophisticated, with some preferring to refer to it as “escort services”.
There have been talks to legitimize the business and tax sex workers for selling their bodies but the jury is still out. Every now and then we hear of police arresting a group of women for engaging in prostitution, but most of these women don’t see their trade as illegal and continue to ply their trade without shame. The more introverted ones choose to operate in the sanctity of brothels, and this is something the Ghana Tourism Authority is attempting to clamp down on. But our sex workers are not giving up their territories without a fight.
In a recent development, workers of the Eastern Regional Tourism Authority were chased away by some alleged sex workers from a brothel at Kotokoli Zongo in the Suhum municipality after they tried to gain access to the structure. The officers from the Tourism Authority, who had gone to the makeshift structure in a bid to ascertain whether the facility was being used as a brothel as had been alleged on social media before closing it down, took to their heels when the irate women realized their intentions after they invited them in.
According to sources close to the facility, the brothel operates 24 hours daily and is reportedly a hotspot for some male Senior High School students who skip classes and pay as little as GHC 5.00 to patronize the services of the sex workers. The alleged prostitutes, numbering 6, hurled insults at the officials from the Authority and shrieked at them when they tried to enter the structure. A 36-year-old woman, believed to be one of their leaders, followed the officials from the brothel to the main Suhum Koforidua road hurling abuse at them and shouting “it’s my private parts, not yours. I have a right to my body and I choose what I want to do with my body. What is your problem if I choose to engage in prostitution.”
In an interview with Citi News, the Eastern Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority Mr. Frederick Adjei Rudolph indicated that he has referred the matter to the Eastern Regional Security Council (REGSEC). “The hostility that we were greeted with at the place did not even allow us to carry out our business. They revealed and confirmed they engage in prostitution which is illegal in this country, the place is a makeshift structure which makes it difficult for us to shut down because they are not operating as a hotel but rather they rented it from a landlord”.
“I have written a formal letter to the Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfour who is the head of REGSEC. The Eastern Regional Police Commander has also been served with a letter, same as the Municipal Chief Executive of Suhum. Now we will heavily rely on the police in the region to take the necessary steps and take immediate action to cause their arrest for operating illegally and in prostitution.”
The Chief of Suhum, Osabarima Ayeh Kofi, when contacted by Citi News at his palace stated that the operations of the brothel have not been brought to his attention. “I must say am not aware of any act of prostitution in any part of Suhum. If something of that sort exists then it has not come to my attention then but I will call on my elders to follow up on it and help the police do their job”.