Prostitutes are heroines to their families because they can feed their families on their own; therefore, it would be inhumane to close down brothels, a regent has said.
“Closing brothels will also bring more problems, such as poverty and the uncontrollable spread of sexually transmitted diseases,” Widya Kandi Susanti, the regent of Kendal, Central Java, said as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday.
“We can easily close brothels but we need to give the women working in them alternative means to make a living,” she added.
Widya said that prostitutes in Kendal were regularly offered sewing courses so that they could make money from their new skill, but after a few months they decided to return to the business of selling sex.
“They return to prostitution because they find it hard to find customers in their new profession, while as prostitutes, they had at least five customers per day,” Widya said.
She added that given the current social conditions in Kendal, particularly regarding the issue of prostitution, it was no longer appropriate to use the term Kendal Beribadat (Religious Kendal) as the tagline for the regency.
“Beribadat has a positive meaning, while in Kendal, there are many large prostitution complexes and a great amount of drug use. By changing our tagline to Kendal Hebat (Great Kendal), we hope to motivate residents to become great because the great know what is good for them and what is not,” she said.