A new survey by Pune academics finds that 70% of sex workers choose their careers voluntarily.
Most switch to prostitution to boost their earning potential after working for low pay in agriculture or informal labour. Most reported an increase of four-fold. 65% of 3000 female and 2000 male and transgender survey respondents from 14 states and one union territory belonged to poor families and 60% came from rural areas.
|Source: Las Vegas CityLife Blog|
It is not surprising that women from disadvantaged rural backgrounds would turn to prostitution. It is surprising that none of these women are minors and none of these women were kidnapped, cheated or otherwise forced into the job by strangers. If at all the choice was not in their hands, most women named their partner or a loved one responsible for their new life turning tricks.
Stay tuned for the next round of results which will examine abuse, stigma and migration patterns of the sex workers.
It may not be the career choice you make for yourself or your daughter but perhaps putting out studies like this will help Indians look at these women from the point of view of economic agents rather than stereotyping them as victimized HIV-carriers.