Argentinian sex workers take to the walls

A series of Argentinian advertisements for sex workers’ rights has been making a small but well-deserved splash. Prostitution is legal in Argentina but brothels are not, and, without labor protections, sex workers are vulnerable to physical violence and economic exploitation.

Commissioned by the Argentinian sex workers’ union, Asociación de Mujeres Meretrices de Argentina, the wheat paste ads cover the corners of buildings. A view from one side displays a woman in a suggestive pose, but the full image reveals a family scene: a mother leading her kids home in their school gear, or a baby pushed in a stroller. The text reminds us that “86% of sex workers are mothers. We need a law to regulate our work.”

I worry about the use of maternity to justify the need for protection: we hear often enough already that a woman’s worth is wholly dependent on her ability and willingness to bear and mother children. Strategically, though, the Ogilvy & Mather-designed campaign is pretty brilliant. We’ll keep you updated on any developments the ads inspire.

Images via BuzzFeed.

Sex workers' rights advertisement

More photos after the jump.

Sex workers' rights advertisement

Sex workers' rights advertisement

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Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at During her four years at the site, she wrote about gender violence, reproductive justice, and education equity and ran the site's book review column. She is now a Skadden Fellow at the National Women's Law Center and also serves as the Board Chair of Know Your IX, a national student-led movement to end gender violence, which she co-founded and previously co-directed. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she is the co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project: 57 Visions of a Wildly Better Future. She has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice at campuses across the country and on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, ESPN, and NPR.

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at

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