She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “To build peace, it is necessary to combat war and all its faces: poverty, prejudice, exclusion, unemployment, despair, HIV/AIDS”.
Read: Prostituição Sexualidade e Sida – Inês Fontinha – Sociologia – Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Políticas da UTL, O Ninho – Lisboa.
She says also: “Lost women, women who took the easy way”, that is how people used to call prostitutes in Madeira Island, where Inês Fontinha was born. “In my generation, those women had to face a great deal of prejudice. It was a problem nobody would talk about. Women were always seen as the guilty ones”.
Maria Inês Gomes Rodrigues Fontinha – Portugal
She works for the European Federation for the Eradication of Prostitution (FEDIP), and for O Ninho.
The social scientist Inês Fontinha (born 1943) has been fighting the sexual exploitation of women for over 30 years. In the beginning, she supported Portuguese prostitutes through her work for the non-governmental organization O Ninho (The Nest). Years later, she also started to combat sexual trafficking in children, young and adult women. In 1992, she founded the European Federation for the Eradication of Prostitution (FEDIP), a network in several European countries against this crime.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Inês had recently graduated in Social Science, and was invited by a lawyer friend to visit “O Ninho.” The organization, founded in Portugal in 1967 to support young prostitutes, followed the example and was named after a French organization created in 1936. “My friend used to be a volunteer, teaching the women how to read and write”.
When she first met the sex workers, Inês realized their “way” was not “easy” at all. “I saw the suffering in their faces. I heard their stories and decided to understand, through them, that unknown world I had ignored until then.”
From that moment on, Inês dedicated her life to fight the sexual exploitation of women. She took different positions in “O Ninho” before becoming its director, her current post. Besides psychological and legal support, the organization provides vocational courses, a house for temporary accommodation for women in danger and a stand to sell handicrafts made in their own workshops. It also works on sensitivity training, information and reporting of exploitation of women.
As the years went by, foreign women also started to look for help at ‘O Ninho’. “In Lisbon, the number of young women from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe has increased. Women come to Europe with the promise of work, but once here they do not have documents, do not speak the country’s language, and so they become prostitutes, slaves.” To fight sexual trafficking in children, young and adult women, Inês founded, in 1992, the European Federation for the Eradication of Prostitution – FEDIP, which she presided over until 1997. Currently she is part of its secretariat. (1000PeaceWomen).
Lista de circulos eleitorais, Lisboa.
Lista de Pessoal Docente ao abrigo do Decreto.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PROSTITUTION.
“Não há vencedores, nem vencidos“, afirma “Nino” Vieira;
Prostitution, a male-female relationship like any other?
Organisations active in the field of prostitution in a comparative Western European Perspective, 45 pdf-pages;
Action against traffic in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, the role of NGOs, 130 pdf-pages.