LAID OF HONOUR! Queen makes former hooker a dame
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.