We are as pleased as punch to announce that the beloved Chair of our network, Kay Thi Win has been elected to the International Board of the Association of Women in Development (AWID). This is an enormous personal victory for Kay Thi whose quiet & charming conviction make her a compelling advocate for any issue about which she is passionate. As we in the sex worker movement already know, Kay Thi is the consummate solidarity player and this is no doubt the reason TOP, Myanmar is promoted by the United Nations as one of the best practice models for Sex Worker HIV Programming in the world.
We feel that Kay Thi’s inclusion as part of AWID’s decision making body is a big step forward in bridging the gap between sex workers and the broader feminist movement. The inclusion of sex workers as part of the 12th AWID International Forum on Women’s Rights in Development in Istanbul last year, as well Kaythi’s powerful plenary which moved the audience to stand in solidarity with sex workers, were most definitely signs of a path to meaningful engagement across all sectors of the women’s movement. Kay Thi’s contribution to AWID as part of the Board and her experience in the area of HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health will bring insight and perspective that might otherwise remain unheard.
Perhaps we can now step off the artificial trajectory that US policy has set the feminist movement upon, and continue to debate our legitimate differences as we did in the days of second wave feminism. Perhaps it is time for us all to reclaim feminism from the forces that conspire to usurp our collective power.
How exciting for sex workers that for the first time ever, we have a voice in this most important forum for women’s rights.
What can we say, but “congratulations Kay Thi. You do the everybody in sex worker movement a wonderful, invaluable service!”