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First Pan-India Survey of Female Sex Workers: Release of preliminary findings on the eve of Labour Day

The first pan-India survey of female sex workers, sponsored by the Centre for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalization, Sangli, was conducted by Rohini Sahni and V Kalyan Shakar of the Department of Economics at the University of Pune. This unique survey documents the lived realities of sex workers; delves into the complex details of their day-to-day interactions; the stigma and marginalisation they experience and attempts to understand the challenges they face as well as their responses. The survey pools a large national level sample of 3000 unorganised sex workers from 14 states. The women who participated in the survey are from various sites and of different ages, family backgrounds, incomes and cultures.

In analysing sex as work and sex workers’ experiences of labour, startling findings emerged:

·         A majority (almost 70 percent) of women, irrespective of the channel of entry, came into sex work by themselves

·         Economic reasons were the major driving factor

·         Sex work offers a significant premium of income in comparison to other activities in the labour market

The research throws light on the complex issue of women’s sexual labour, a hitherto marginalised form of labour. Dr Rohini Sahni will present the study and the preliminary findings and this will be followed by a discussion on the issues raised. We invite you for this meeting and hope you will be able to come for it.

Where: Gender Resource Centre, Savitribai Phule Stree Sansadhan Kendra, Rajgruh Society,  2nd floor, Balasheth Murudkar Marg, Elphinston Road West, Mumbai.

Directions: Opposite to Elphinston Rd Station. By Bus look for Indiabulls and walk 2 minutes ahead. Next to Darshan Heights, Indiabulls or Deepak Talkies, or behind Holy Cross Church. (Call Akshara Library: 24309676 in case of problems)

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