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The organisation, operational dynamics and structure of female sex work in Pakistan.

Emmanuel F, Thompson LH, Athar U, Salim M, Sonia A, Akhtar N, Blanchard JF - Sex Transm Infect (2013)

Bottom Line: Cities varied considerably in terms of predominance of different FSW typologies.There is considerable heterogeneity among FSWs in Pakistan, geographically and in terms of operational typology.Understanding the social organisation of sex work and the influence of social-cultural and legal factors in Pakistan is essential for the design of HIV prevention programmes and other services for FSWs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Community Health Sciences, Centre for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, , Winnipeg, Canada.

ABSTRACT

Background: Pakistan is known to have large populations of female sex workers (FSWs) with considerable geographic heterogeneity in their characteristics. In this paper, we describe the social organisation and structural patterns of female sex work in different geographic regions of Pakistan.

Methods: We report geographic and network mapping data collected among FSWs in 15 cities across Pakistan in 2011 as part of the Canada-Pakistan HIV/AIDS Surveillance Project.

Results: A total number of 89 178 FSWs were estimated in the target cities for an average of 7.2 FSWs per 1000 adult males. 55% of the estimated number of FSWs concentrated in Karachi and Lahore. Based on the operations of female sex work, two major typologies of FSWs were identified: establishment-based and non-establishment-based. FSWs were further subtyped into those operating through brothels, homes, kothikhanas, streets and by cell phone. Cities varied considerably in terms of predominance of different FSW typologies.

Conclusions: There is considerable heterogeneity among FSWs in Pakistan, geographically and in terms of operational typology. Understanding the social organisation of sex work and the influence of social-cultural and legal factors in Pakistan is essential for the design of HIV prevention programmes and other services for FSWs.

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Operational model of sex work in Pakistan. FSW, female sex worker.
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SEXTRANS2013051062F1: Operational model of sex work in Pakistan. FSW, female sex worker.

Mentions: Six different FSW typology categories were identified (figure 1). Home-based FSWs live in their homes with families, and rely mostly on network operators to seek clients. There are categories of home-based FSWs: those for whom the family is unaware and sex work takes place elsewhere, and those for whom the family is aware and sex work takes place in the home. Kothikhana-based FSWs live and entertain clients in buildings that are generally small premises in residential areas rented by a network operator. Sometimes FSWs who do not live in kothikhanas perform sex work in these venues. Brothel-based sex work is the oldest variant of female sex work in Pakistan when the sex industry was mainly housed in brothels located in designated red light areas and provided sexual services to clients under cover of singing and dancing. Street-based sex workers tend to work alone in non-specific locations and solicit clients at various ‘pick up points’ in public places such as streets, market places and bus stops. They may perform sex work in hotels, houses or kothikhanas. An emerging mechanism which FSWs use to contact clients is through cell phones. A few other typologies of FSWs included hotel-based FSWs, massage parlour-based FSWs and beggars.


The organisation, operational dynamics and structure of female sex work in Pakistan.

Emmanuel F, Thompson LH, Athar U, Salim M, Sonia A, Akhtar N, Blanchard JF - Sex Transm Infect (2013)

Operational model of sex work in Pakistan. FSW, female sex worker.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756447&req=5

SEXTRANS2013051062F1: Operational model of sex work in Pakistan. FSW, female sex worker.
Mentions: Six different FSW typology categories were identified (figure 1). Home-based FSWs live in their homes with families, and rely mostly on network operators to seek clients. There are categories of home-based FSWs: those for whom the family is unaware and sex work takes place elsewhere, and those for whom the family is aware and sex work takes place in the home. Kothikhana-based FSWs live and entertain clients in buildings that are generally small premises in residential areas rented by a network operator. Sometimes FSWs who do not live in kothikhanas perform sex work in these venues. Brothel-based sex work is the oldest variant of female sex work in Pakistan when the sex industry was mainly housed in brothels located in designated red light areas and provided sexual services to clients under cover of singing and dancing. Street-based sex workers tend to work alone in non-specific locations and solicit clients at various ‘pick up points’ in public places such as streets, market places and bus stops. They may perform sex work in hotels, houses or kothikhanas. An emerging mechanism which FSWs use to contact clients is through cell phones. A few other typologies of FSWs included hotel-based FSWs, massage parlour-based FSWs and beggars.

Bottom Line: Cities varied considerably in terms of predominance of different FSW typologies.There is considerable heterogeneity among FSWs in Pakistan, geographically and in terms of operational typology.Understanding the social organisation of sex work and the influence of social-cultural and legal factors in Pakistan is essential for the design of HIV prevention programmes and other services for FSWs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Community Health Sciences, Centre for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, , Winnipeg, Canada.

ABSTRACT

Background: Pakistan is known to have large populations of female sex workers (FSWs) with considerable geographic heterogeneity in their characteristics. In this paper, we describe the social organisation and structural patterns of female sex work in different geographic regions of Pakistan.

Methods: We report geographic and network mapping data collected among FSWs in 15 cities across Pakistan in 2011 as part of the Canada-Pakistan HIV/AIDS Surveillance Project.

Results: A total number of 89 178 FSWs were estimated in the target cities for an average of 7.2 FSWs per 1000 adult males. 55% of the estimated number of FSWs concentrated in Karachi and Lahore. Based on the operations of female sex work, two major typologies of FSWs were identified: establishment-based and non-establishment-based. FSWs were further subtyped into those operating through brothels, homes, kothikhanas, streets and by cell phone. Cities varied considerably in terms of predominance of different FSW typologies.

Conclusions: There is considerable heterogeneity among FSWs in Pakistan, geographically and in terms of operational typology. Understanding the social organisation of sex work and the influence of social-cultural and legal factors in Pakistan is essential for the design of HIV prevention programmes and other services for FSWs.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus