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Barbara's Dream (AE)

Andrew Esiebo/Twenty Ten

Associated features: Sex Workers (Photo feature) and Football et prostitution (French text feature)

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa and Lusaka, Zambia

Barbara is one of thousands of women who are hoping to make their fortune at the FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa. She works in the world’s oldest profession, prostitution, and sees the upcoming soccer showcase as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capitalise on the many foreigners visiting the continent.

The World Cup has sparked a boom in the sex industry throughout southern Africa. However, most of the women in children involved are unfortunate victims of human trafficking, which is the third largest global industry after the drug and arms trade. Barbara is quite unique in that she is not controlled by a pimp and was not brought into prostitution through trafficking. She refers to herself as a ‘money hunter’ and not a sex worker or prostitute.

Despite the degree of autonomy she boasts of, Barbara, and women like her, still suffer the dangers of harassment and the rejection of their society. As South Africa prepares to host the soccer showcase, many women and children are at risk of exploitation, while some women like Barbara are just trying to earn a living.

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