stigma

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."

Measuring perceived stigma in female sex workers in Chennai, India

Although sex work is highly stigmatized throughout the world, a limited body of research has examined stigma among female sex workers (FSWs). We developed a Sex Worker Stigma (SWS) Index to measure perceived stigma among 150 FSWs in Chennai, India. These women were at a median age of 35 years and reported, on average, having engaged in sex work for nine out of the previous 12 months. The two-factor structure of the index was verified in both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses with acceptable goodness of fit.

Stigma and sex work from the perspective of female sex workers in Hong Kong.

While the stigma surrounding sex work is both well documented and easily recognised, few studies examine stigma in this context from the perspective of the sex workers themselves. In this article we report on a study using a modified grounded theory approach to analyse a series of semi-structured interviews with 49 female sex workers in Hong Kong, in order to examine the ways in which this group experiences and negotiates the stigma which arises from their employment in the sex industry.

News interview with sex workers in Uganda

This news interview features members of the Network of Sex Work Projects. They describe the challenges that they face in Uganda and the way that they are subject to stigma and discrimination and excluded from development policy and plans.

Sex workers in India combat stigma to demand rights and health care

Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM) is an HIV/AIDS organization that works primarily with sex workers. SANGRAM is based in the Sangli district in Maharashtra state. 

A right to be: A film about sex work in the Caribbean

A film from the Caribbean Treatment Action Group and the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition about the problems faced by sex workers in the Caribbean. There is a focus on migrant workers, HIV, abuse from the state, stigma and discrimination from the community and efforts to overcome them.

Sex workers run restaurant in Mysore

A news story by Team Mangalorean Bangalore featured on mangalorean.com on the 18 February 2010. The story outlines how sex workers have utilised a World Bank grant to start their own restaurant in Mysore. The purpose of the restaurant is to challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers it has also provided income generation opportunities for older sex workers. Profits from the Ashodaya restaurant fund a hospice for those terminally ill with AIDS. And, when unclaimed bodies are found in the city, it is this group that pays for the last rites - work that few others would be willing to do. 

Taking Care of Business

A news story for Poz Magazine by Scott L. This story explores HIV prevention efforts with sex workers in India. It highlights the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their partners and suggests that the policy of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) should be amended to allow investment in interventions of this type.

They are no longer sex workers, declares Shawa

This story, in the Nyasa Times, relates how the Principal Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) responsible for HIV and AIDS and Nutrition in Malawi, Mary Shawa, has suggested that the term Sex Worker is phased out in favour of 'People who frequent public places' to try and counter stigma and discrimination.

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