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A prostitute activist becomes 'Dame Companion' in Queen's Birthday Honours

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 4 June 2018, 14:31 IST

Catherine Healy, a former sex worker from Wellington, New Zealand has been recognised for outstanding service to people of New Zealand. She has been made a Dame Companion, chivalry honour in NZ. In 1980 when Wellington brothel was raided and Healy was arrested, it was difficult to imagine that she would be ever recognised for her services.

But, her transformation and work for rights of sex worker have got her recognition. She said,“I was very daunted and found it very hard to believe,” She even added that she looks around and there are many people she admires and this award is something that she had never imagined or thought was a possibility.

In the year 1986, Healy found an organisation to support sex workers' right named NZ Prostitutes Collective. It was after a lot of effort that she managed to develop a bill that decriminalises and safeguard sex workers’ rights. In the year 2003, the bill was passed.

Talking about the difficult time she has gone through, she said, "It’s different to think about it today where we are sitting around a table as equals with the police and plotting how to make sex work safer and allowing workers to report sexual
violence.”

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First published: 4 June 2018, 14:31 IST
 
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