Cameron ; Edlund and Korn ; Giusta et al. In these models, stigma plays a role in preventing sex workers from entering other professions or the marriage market. While legalisation of licensed brothels and red light districts, together with the work of NGOs, has improved the socioeconomic status of sex workers in Bangladesh over the last decade, sex workers in Bangladesh are still very much marginalised ECPAT In the BIDS survey, almost one third of respondents Most brothel-based sex workers live in the brothel.
According to the BIDS survey in , among floating sex workers, 37 per cent lived in rented accommodation, 22 per cent lived on the streets or in parks, 17 per cent lived in NGO drop-in centres and sometimes on the street or in parks , and just three per cent owned their own house Mondal and Islam Edlund and Korn suggested that the reason female sex workers earned so much with only basic human capital is that high wages represent compensation for the forgone benefits of selling their fertility in the marriage market.
However, in Ecuador and Mexico, Arunachalam and Shah showed that 29 per cent and 20 per cent of sex workers respectively are in fact married, and that sex workers are more likely to be married at younger ages than non-sex workers. Similarly, in the BIDS survey, Where the Edlund and Korn thesis has some traction is for the daughters of sex workers who become sex workers themselves.
Evidence from South Asia suggests that it is very difficult for daughters of sex workers to find partners in the marriage market Cornish High wages for the daughters of sex workers who become sex workers themselves can be seen as a compensating differential for the foregone benefits of marriage. Similarly, in the high end sex market in South Asia where daughters are born into prostitution, high wages can be regarded as a compensating differential for the foregone benefits of marriage.
Casual observation suggests that the situation is similar in Bangladesh. In the BIDS survey, Table 3 reports the number of times sex workers in the BIDS survey had been raped while working. The majority of respondents Similarly, sex workers in Bangladesh suffer a high level of police harassment. Many sex workers in the BIDS survey complained that much of the fruits of their labour went into the pockets of corrupt police and local officials Mondal and Islam An earlier study found that 30 per cent of sex work in Bangladesh is controlled by corrupt police who extort money from the brothels and floating sex workers in the form of bribes Khan This study found that sex workers were also frequent victims of demands for free sex and physical violence at the hands of the police Khan Studies carried out in other South Asian countries, such as on the Sonagachi sex industry in Calcutta, similarly report the presence of high levels of police corruption and harassment see e.
Abortion and miscarriage are relatively common phenomena among sex workers. There is a much higher incidence of STDs among sex workers than the general population. One estimate is that as many as 40 per cent of sex workers have an STD Alam The highest incidence of STD was syphilis Syphilis rates are relatively high among sex workers in all categories, but particularly among hotel and street-based workers, indicating the presence of risky sexual practices facilitating the spread of HIV World Bank The extent to which sex workers receive regular health check- ups in Bangladesh varies.
In the BIDS survey, 9. There was some variation in the BIDS survey across the brothels surveyed, with a higher proportion of women in Daulatdia deriving income from non-sex work. Most of this income, though, is drug-related. There is much evidence of thriving drug syndicates operating in Daulatdia with the tacit approval and involvement of the local government and police Mondal and Islam The explanation for why most sex workers rely on income from sex work does not seem to be that sex workers lack training in other areas.
In the BIDS survey, almost two-thirds of respondents 63 per cent reported having received vocational training in areas such as embroidery, handicrafts and tailoring Mondal and Islam One reason why few sex workers have income outside the profession might be that, as several studies have suggested, economic returns to sex work are several multiples of fulltime earnings in professions with comparable skill requirements see, in general, Edlund and Korn This is also the case in Bangladesh.
This income from sex work compares favourably with what females earn in the rest of the labour market for non-sex work. Another reason why a high proportion of sex workers in Bangladesh work exclusively as sex workers is the stigma attached to the profession; as a result it is very difficult for sex workers to get outside employment. However, despite having relatively high incomes, few sex.