Poverty stricken women in prostitution
Women are representing half of the world population but we can say they have control over only 20 per cent of the world’s property and goods. In the world in certain developing countries because of declining rural economies and environmental depletion, we have noticed that the condition of women is also declining especially rural women. Women in rural areas I would say especially falls into the trap and inhuman practice like prostitution because they are mainly confined to household and is mostly engaged in the household industry and agriculture but with that, they don’t earn enough money to run a household. While we see resources are being whittled away by the multinational companies women's petty trading are taken over by big business and the prices of basic commodities soar, wages decline, and- above all- their self-respect and self-esteem are crushed. Because of which women are dragged and is forced to become actively involved in the sex industry. Women are shown the money and that’s how they fall in the trap. They were paid a huge amount and women tend to get into the activity so that they can save their life and make it little better as they come from the backward class they don’t have sufficient money to even have one proper meal in a day and so when they are being paid such a huge amount they get involved even when they don’t want to. They force themselves to work in the sex industry for the survival of their families and themselves in this modern world where without money life is not possible at all.
Poverty is the main reason why the rate of prostitution is growing at such a faster rate than the public can imagine. There are many women stricken to poverty who are working as prostitutes in the brothels. There are instances reported where it was noticed that whole village obtain a substantial income from selling off their own daughters, sisters and wives just to get money and survive in this modern world.
The desire for making money is strongly inculcated among many that the health of women are being seriously affected because women involve themselves with many men who are suffering from HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because of which these diseases get transmitted to women. The condition of women is declining because of these diseases that are being transferred while having sexual intercourse. It is even said that women are suffering more with HIV than men in the world.
Because of unemployment, poverty and the influences of "modernization", many young people are migrating from the countryside to the towns looking for jobs, often helped by the village agents. Most of them are destined to become cheap labour, working in carpet and garment factories and hotels. All too many girls are either brutally raped or trafficked abroad from these workplaces. Many women lack work opportunities, that’s why many are induced to turn to the sex industry. There is a labour stratification and that’s why there is limited demand for work.
Women's bodies, beauty and sex have become highly demanded commodities in this part of the world. Sex tourism, match-making, bride supplying, pornography and so on are all the result of this thinking. Since buyers of these commodities can spend a lot of money, girls and women are very easily lured. Thailand, Philippines and Nepal are the countries where such businesses are prospering but these countries are also paying a heavy price along with the spread and growth of HIV infection and AIDS. The main reason for this situation among women can be ascribed to widespread poverty, low status, lack of decision making, lack of timely access and so on. Government policies, services and awareness-raising activities are concentrating mainly on rural elites. Empowerment of women has been limited to the conference rooms of five-star hotels. The women in the countryside are being victimized because there are no other alternatives.
While doing my reading on the concerned topic I have read an article where many stories about women who earn less than 100 rupees in a month. And how they were being forced in sex work because mainly they were illiterate and have no idea what is right and wrong. They were being given wrong I formation and was promised by their clients that they will be given work basically household work but later when the women agree to go with them they use them for sex work and earn a profit. There were few stories of three women and their stories about how they ended up in the sex industry. I would like to list a few of them. They are mentioned below.
- The two women sit in a grimy flat in west Delhi. The sound of traffic filters through the curtained windows.It is dark and they are talking about their rescue a few hours before and how – if – they might get back to their homes almost 1,000 miles away. Malti, 22, and Sita, 35, were promised well-paid jobs in the Middle East. Neither reached the Gulf. Instead, they were stripped of their valuables, travel documents and phones and held with 18 others in one room in a rundown apartment in the Indian capital for four months. Denied any outside contact, they were freed only when police, acting on a tip-off, raided the "human warehouse" where the women were being kept.
- Anis Begum, 27, an almost destitute mother-of-four from Hyderabad, southern India, said she had paid 10,000 rupees (£120) to an agent to go to Saudi Arabia after being promised well-paid work as a maid. Instead, she was locked in a storeroom and then sold as a sex worker at an auction for the equivalent of £300, beaten, imprisoned and abused. "I was scared I might get pregnant. If I did, I thought they might kill me," she said. She was freed by her captor's wife after months of confinement in one room at their home in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
There were many incidents like these which were reported by police. Most of the women recruited by the agents come from severely deprived backgrounds and are often illiterate. Unable to verify inflated or misleading claims, they travel willingly. In certain ways, women were from poor households were told that they will be working as a housemaid and they will be getting paid but when they reach the destination they find out that they were being brought here by their masters to not provide them work but to engage them in the sex industry and sell them to their clients and earn profits. Women are being used because they are not educated and have no idea but just want to earn their living. They are being forced into sex work.
The two women that we were taking the examples of in the above part whose name was Malti and Sita released from the Delhi flat-cum-prison were typical of many victims. No one had forced them to leave their homes and Malti, from northern West Bengal, had already spent two years in Saudi Arabia, where she was neither abused nor denied pay, as a domestic servant. She was trying to return to the Gulf for more work when she got involved with the agent who imprisoned her.
Sita, an illiterate mother of five whose husband earns around 130 rupees a day as a labourer when he can find work, had little idea where she was going or what awaited her when she left her village, also in India's poverty-stricken north-east, late last summer.
"I was told I was going to earn a good salary with a woman who came to my home. I need to feed my children so I went with her. I had high hopes. She brought me to Delhi in a train but then I was locked up," Sita said.
Now we can see how they are being forced into this work and were given wrong information.
Lastly, I would like to put forward some suggestions about these actions and how they can be addressed:
- Offer alternative survival opportunities to poor and disadvantaged women so that they are not forced into prostitution, with such consequences as HIV infection and AIDS.
- Promote awareness among both women and men about HIV and AIDS, the risks of trafficking and preventive measures.
- Organize poor and disadvantaged women from the lowest social levels around the whole issue of sexual discrimination, and encourage them to overcome the problem collectively.
- Ensure the empowerment of women: socially, mentally and economically.