LAID OF HONOUR! Queen makes former hooker a dame

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

THE Queen has given the thumbs up to sex x work­ers af­ter award­ing an ex-hooker the e ti­tle of dame.

Former pros­ti­tute Cather­ine Healy, 62, , re­ceived the cov­eted gong in the Queen’s s Birth­day Hon­ours list.

She was recog­nised with an Or­der of Merit for r ser­vices to the rights of sex work­ers.

Cather­ine was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing about a new law back in 2003 which gave full em­ploy­ment rights to sex work­ers in New Zealand.

She said: “I was star­tled when this was of­fered. I’m in shock.

“I think even a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have thought this was pos­si­ble. It’s in­dica­tive of a shift in peo­ple’s at­ti­tudes and it’s lovely to feel sup­ported.”

Cather­ine worked as a pri­mary school teacher be­fore be­com­ing a sex x worker in the 1980s.

She says she was s shocked at the lack of f pro­tec­tions in place, , es­pe­cially af­ter com­ing from the unionised pro­fes­sion of teach­ing.

She said: “We were spo­ken about as young sex work­ers in a dis­re­spect­ful way.

“We needed to find our voice and we needed to be un­der­stood.”

In 1987, Cather­ine formed the New Zealand UP FOR GONG: Cather­ine gets Or­der of Merit from Her Majesty Pros­ti­tutes P i C Col­lec­tive ll i which ad­vo­cates for sex work­ers’ rights.

It helped draft the Pros­ti­tu­tion Re­form Act, which was passed in 2003 and al­lowed broth­els to op­er­ate as le­git­i­mate busi­nesses.

New Zealand’s hon­ours sys­tem is ap­proved by the Queen, as head of state, on the ad­vice of the prime min­is­ter.

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