Young Women's Empowerment Project is a project by and for girls and transgender girls in the sex trade and street economies. We are a project that is about building sisterhood in our communities and our hoods. For us the sex trade is a social justice issue because it is a massive system that impacts people from all walks of life especially girls, transgender girls, and young women of color. We believe in taking care of ourselves and empowering each other to take control of our own lives. We believe in building bridges between girls and transgender girls, between those of us who are survivors of forced involvement and those of us who do what we have to do to survive and make the best choices we can.
YWEP believes that we are especially affected by the sex trade because racism, sexism, male dominance, ageism, the prison industrial complex and the drug war target us and our communities. The sex trade and streets economies exist and thrive because of the lack of resources, choices, support, education and respect.
We fight back by making sure our voice is heard at the national level in Third Wave's Reproductive Health and Justice Initiative Network. We do youth-to-youth outreach, supporting hundreds of girls with health-based harm reduction information on our bodymindspirit. Our popular education workshops teach us underground methods to take care of our bodies, since we can't always get healthcare.
Our vision of reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of girls and queer peoples. We want the power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality for ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Reproductive Justice means harm reduction. It looks like non-condemning, just and accessible treatment. It looks like an end to the police state, an end to sexual violence, harassment, gender profiling, and brutality. It looks like an end to the prison industrial complex and the militarization and gentrification in our communities.
Our reproductive justice movement work denounces violence against our constituents. We demand an end to the criminalization of young mothers who use drugs, or have forced abortions/sterilization and experience poverty. We stand in solidarity with sisters killed due to misogyny, sex or gender, age or race/ethnicity and victims of femicide.
Although society blames us, we call out the systems that are responsible. We are here to fight against misogyny and hold our oppressors accountable. We support acts of rebellion and resistance; all girls building and keeping sisterhood, and we fight for reproductive justice that acknowledges the realities and complexities of our lives. We know females may have tendencies to hate other females, but to females everywhere we say: It's easier for our oppressors to try and take us down one by one, but if we stand together as a group, nothing can stop us.
* Young Women's Empowerment Project - http://www.youarepriceless.org
* Check out YWEP's Statement on Gardasil - http://ywep.org/files/gardasil%20statement.pdf