Aguchita saw that prostitution is not a profession nor in harmony with the view that work is a sacred contribution to human development and the social fabric. In the following excerpt, adapted from the book Aguchita: Mercy and Justice, we see how articulate she was about her feelings towards prostitution and how she actively educated the sisters in her community about its exploitative and abusive nature.
Aguchita often talked about the “souls that were being lost,” “the young people who were being led into the abyss,” and about “girls falling prey to prostitution and alcoholism.” In conversations with her sisters, she never ceased to talk about the women who were abused and used as objects rather than treated like people. She wondered: “why must these women suffer, are they not created in the image of God, too?” Moved by what she heard, one of the contemplative sisters asked Aguchita what could be done to provide these women with at least one decent dress. Aguchita told them that she would get some fabric so that they could make dresses for the women. On other occasions, she would ask one of the sisters to help her knit cardigans or sweaters for the girls.
The Congregational Position Paper on the Prostitution of Women and Girls is rooted in the dignity of the human person. It calls us to be articulate that prostitution is a form of gender violence and express solidarity with those who are vulnerable to being the objects of prostitution: words and deeds that Aguchita carried out over 40 years ago. Today, prostitution remains to have no place in a global society striving for gender equality. Ask yourself: “what role do I play in my community to be an active educator and agent for change about prostitution?”