"A world without the abuse of women and girls, free of all kinds of exploitation is possible. You can be part of making this a reality - in our lifetime."

- Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

Embrace Dignity

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Embrace Dignity imagines a world where women and men are truly equal and can have non-exploitative, mutually fulfilling relationships.

Embrace Dignity is a South African women’s rights organization committed to abolishing prostitution. Embrace Dignity advocates for the “Equality Model” of legislation governing prostitution and wants South Africa to be the first country on the African continent to adopt this approach. Pioneered in Sweden in 1999, the Equality Model of prostitution legislation decriminalizes women and girls in prostitution but penalizes the demand (i.e. buyers, pimps and brothel owners).

The Equality Model has gained traction around the world and has been adopted in Canada, France, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Norway.

Embrace Dignity adopts this approach to prostitution not from a stance of judgment or morality, but one with a deep commitment to the basic human rights outlined in the South African constitution: the right to gender equality and human dignity.

In addition to advocating for legal reform, Embrace Dignity believes in providing women with resources, skills, self-confidence, and training to help them exit prostitution. Embrace Dignity helped establish Kwanele a movement of survivors of prostitution who do not believe prostitution is work rather that it is a means of survival. Kwanele currently has 586 members countrywide and the membership continues to grow steadily.

In an effort to build the abolitionist movement across Africa, Embrace Dignity serves as the secretariat for the Coalition Abolition of Prostitution in Africa (CAPA). In 2019 the CAPA Charter was launched with 350 signatories.

Featured Story

Lolo's Story

By: DDA | Sept 8, 2014

Lolo came to us eager to leave the life of prostitution. As one of our youngest sisters, she was just 17 when she first exchanged money for sex. In her three years at Embrace Dignity, Lolo has morphed into a poised young woman who is determined to finish her education, take care of her younger brother in the Eastern Cape, and not be dependent on a man in any way.

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