sex work

Indigenous Peoples In the Sex Trade - Speaking For Ourselves

By the Native Youth Sexual Health Network on Thursday, June 9, 2011.

We as Indigenous peoples who have current and/or former life experience in the sex trade and sex industries met on unceeded Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver on Monday April 11th 2011. In a talking circle organized by the Native Youth Sexual Health Network we wish to share the following points about our collective discussion so that we may speak FOR ourselves and life experiences:

Ain't I a Woman? A Global Dialogue between the Sex Workers’ Rights movement and the Stop Violence Against Women Movement

This is a resource written by Bishakha Datta and sponsored by CASAM and CREA. The report documents a meeting entitled "Ain't I A Woman? A Global Dialogue between the Sex Workers Rights Movement and the Stop Violence against Women Movement" from 12-14 March 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. 


The report features the presentations from many great speakers including , Ruth Morgan Thomas, Anna-Louise Crago, Kaythi Win, Hua Sittipham Boonyapisomparn, Swapna Gayen and Meenakshi Kamble,Cheryl Overs and  Meena Seshu

Why Do Women in India Become Sex Workers?

A news story in the Asia Sentinal by Geeta Seshu, 25 May 2011.

Why do women in India become sex workers?

They can make more money and live better.

Poverty and limited education push females into labor markets at an early age, but the sheer desire for a better income and a better life pushes them into sex work, according to a path-breaking, pan-India survey of sex workers. 

The role of brothels in reducing HIV risk in Sonagachi, India

Article by Ghose T, Swendeman DT, George SM. Qual Health Res. 2011 Jan 25.

High rates of empowerment, HIV-related knowledge, and condom use among sex workers in Sonagachi, India have been attributed to a community-led intervention called the Sonagachi HIV/AIDS Intervention Programme (SHIP). In this research Ghose and colleagues examined the crucial role of brothels in the success of the intervention. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with 55 participants of SHIP. The results indicate that brothels help sex workers reduce HIV risk by (a) serving as targeted sites for SHIP's HIV intervention efforts, (b) being operated by madams (women managers of brothels) who participate in SHIP's intervention efforts and promote healthy regimes, (c) structuring the economic transactions and sexual performances related to sex work, thus standardizing sex-related behaviour, and (d) promoting community empowerment among brothel residents. Implications of these results are discussed for future efforts to replicate SHIP's success in other sex work communities.

(abstract authors' own)

Demystifying Sex Work and Sex Workers

Wagadu, an open access online feminist journal, has released a special issue 'Demystifying sex work and sex workers.' With articles from activist scholars the special issue, focuses on the everyday lives of sex workers.

Susan Dewey of the University of Wyoming who edited the issue explains, "While recent years have witnessed a dramatic outpouring of feminist scholarship that situates sex work within its broader socioeconomic and political contexts cross-culturally, there remains a tendency for academic scholarship to unconsciously reinforce the social stigmatization of sex workers by depicting them solely through their income-earning activities. This burgeoning research has convincingly demonstrated that sex work is embedded in a complex social matrix that often centers upon sex workers’ perceptions of their individual choices and responsibilities...Public policy on sex work is often shown to be seriously lacking when contextualized within the broader realities of many sex workers’ everyday life experiences throughout the world. As such, contributors to this special issue offer sound ethnographic evidence that clearly demonstrates the global need for policy and legal reform with respect to sex work."

Sex and the City: Are raids the answer?

A news story by Chokkapan S on Express Buzz, 23 May 2011.

BANGALORE: Raids on prostitution rackets that are being run in the name of massage parlours and otherwise have time and again been in the news. So, the latest ones in the string of inspections and subsequent arrests in Bangalore didn't really come as a surprise.

What really is surprising is the fact that despite the repeated incidences, not much thought is being spared on the measures to curb the menace. So, what should ideally be done to tackle the issue? 

Myanmar's sex worker clinics offer solace from stigma

by Alex Delamare, 23 May 2011.

When Thida Win contracted HIV after selling her body on the Yangon streets, it was her fellow sex workers that she turned to, not Myanmar's crumbling health service.

The Top project, run almost entirely by those in the sex trade, gave her treatment, a place to be herself away from the dual stigma of HIV and prostitution -- and eventually a job.

Choice in the labour market – sex work as “work”

A blog post by Nivedita Menon on Kafila, 6 May 2011.

The summary of preliminary findings of the first pan-India survey of sex-workers is now available on-line.  3000 women from 14 states and 1 UT were surveyed, all of them from outside collectivised/organised and therefore politically active spaces, precisely  “in order to bring forth the voices of a hitherto silent section of sex workers.”

The significant finding is this: About 71 percent of them said they had entered the profession willingly.

70 per cent women enter flesh trade voluntarily: study

An article in the Indian Express by Shruti Nambiar on the 3 May 2011.

Pune: Seventy per cent of women sex workers are not pushed or forced into flesh trade but are drawn to it by the lure of higher income, according to the preliminary result of a survey released by women’s group Akshara.

The preliminary results of the first leg of a pan-India study being conducted by two University of Pune researchers was released on April 30.

Majority of female sex workers join the trade voluntarily-survey says

A news story in the Health(Y) Destination on May 1 2011.

A recent survey conducted at Pune reveals that 70 percent of the female sex workers join the trade voluntarily and they were not forced or sold.

Most of the sex workers join the trade only in their later age after relieved from other labour such as domestic work and construction of building work. It is revealed that the sex work is also felt by them as that of the other labour work.

The findings were revealed by a survey conducted by ‘First pan-India survey of sex workers’ at Pune University.

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