Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Business of Prostitution and our girls/women

The Institution of prostitution is not of recent origin but has existed since many years and reflects the status of women in the society where it prevails. It is an institution based on the assumption that sex is an automatic right of man and purchable commodity. Women are, thereby, denied the right over bodies and are reduced to mere purchable objects.

Once a woman has been labeled a prostitute she is no longer seen as a complete human being with her own needs, desires, hopes, individuality, problems and limitations. Worse still, the children of the prostitutes are also stigmatized and discriminated against for no fault of theirs and what can only be called” an accident of birth”.

Causes of Prostitution

  1. Socio-cultural causes
  2. Economic causes
  3. Psychological causes
  4. Other ( Legal and Administrative causes)

Statistics of girls and women in the business

  • The average age of entry into the business: 14-16 years old
  • Percentage of girls/women who would like to leave the business - 87%
  • Percentage of girls/women who are or were homeless - 84%
  • Percentage of girls/women who have been raped - 82%
  • Percentage of girls/women who have been physically assaulted - 82%
  • Percentage of girls/women who have been threatened with a weapon - 78%
  • Percentage of girls/women who wish they had a safer place to live - 78
  • Percentage of girls/women who have been raped five times - 78
  • Percentage of girls/women who would like help with drug/alcohol addiction issues - Nearly 70%
  • Percentage of girls/women with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - approximately 70%
  • Percentage of girls/women who were sexually abused as a child - 65-95
  • Percentage of girls/women who were physically abused as a child - 49%

Socio-cultural causes

  • Ill-treatment by parents
  • Socio customs like devdasi system
  • Desertion by spouse
  • Family tradition or involvement of family members in prostitution
  • Widowhood and restrictions on widow remarriage
  • Social or personal reasons as low position of women in society, inability to arrange marriage, violation by incest
  • Bad company and neighborhood
  • Connivance of parents or husband
  • Deception
  • Lack of sex education and influence of media
  • Absence of recreational facilities

Economic causes

Economic distress and displacement

Psychological causes

  • Desire for physical pleasure and luxurious life
  • Increasing craze for money
  • Dejection
  • Love of fun

Other ( Legal and Administrative causes)

  • Kidnapping and abduction
  • Delay in rendering service
  • Urbanization and resulting migration
  • Ignorance
  • Illiteracy

The number of women in prostitution is increasing for various reasons and their desire to avoid identification. In fact, such mobility and secrecy in prostitution involves the use of certain public places like bus stands, railway station, street corners, parks, hotels, bars, health clubs etc. as pick up joints.

Shame on all those people, organizations who promote and glorify the idea of prostitution to our girls and young people!


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