Displaying items 1 - 15 of 24 in total
  • Archive Resource

    A Vida Politica - Jane - Daspu

    Jane is a model for the fashion label 'Daspu' (das = 'of'', pu - from puta = 'whores'), created by the NGO Davida, whose mission is to end discrimination against sex workers and secure their status as legitimate workers. She is a sex worker and a mother of three children, and she is openly HIV positive. The film follows her on a fashion shoot by one of Brazil's most prestigious fashion photographers. Sex work is not illegal in Brazil, but sex workers suffer stigma and discrimination. …

  • Archive Resource

    Building A Movement For Sexual Rights And Pleasure

    The Chinese NGO Pink Space organises exchanges to build solidarity between people marginalised because of their sexuality and challenge the sources of their oppression, as He explains. Pink Space brings together HIV positive women, lesbians, bisexual women, female sex workers, transgender men, and women married to gay men. Fun, laughter and discussions of sexual pleasure are always part of the agenda. He describes how a focus on sexual pleasure promoted solidarity between women. …

  • Archive Resource

    Feminists Might Learn A Trick Or Two From Sex Workers, Contestations 5

    Meena Seshu as guest editor of this issue of Contestations suggests that by viewing 'sex work' through the framework of patriarchy and the objectification of women's bodies, feminists foreclose any discussion over whether women can actively choose sex work as a livelihood option. It is this narrow approach linking sex work with violence against women, she argues, that leads many feminists to the assumption that all sex workers are victims who need 'rescuing', which is not always the case. Seshu contends that a far better lens is the rights-based approach which recognises sex workers' rights as human beings and allows them to break out of the victim mode. …

  • Archive Resource

    Gender and Sexuality Activism in Beijing: Negotiating International Influences and National Local Processes

    Susie Jolly’s chapter is a nuanced account of how Chinese activists have drawn on the possibilities afforded by international forces, agendas and discourses, to broaden openings available in the flux and ambivalence of processes nearer to home. Jolly highlights the great overlap among donors, government and activists, showing that the boundaries between these institutional spaces are in fact porous, rather than partitioned from one another. …

  • Archive Resource

    How The Development Industry Imagines Sex Work, Development, 52.1

    Meena Seshu and Nandinee Bandhopadhyay who work with sex workers speak with Cheryl Overs, a sex rights activist, at an open floor session during the IDS conference on Sexuality and the Development Industry. …

  • Archive Resource

    How Was It For You? Pleasure And Performance In Sex Work

    This chapter challenges the assumption that sex workers get no pleasure from their work, citing research in several locations including India, China, Spain and Finland. This research demonstrates that placing sex workers’ experience of pleasure at the forefront can provide a fresh angle on familiar arguments. This is particularly important in the study of sex work, where ideological conflict and political necessity have tended to harden into fixed positions and inflexible ways of thinking. This chapter follows the lead provided by sex workers themselves in taking pleasure seriously. …

  • Archive Resource

    Politicising Masculinities: Beyond The Personal Workshop

    A diverse mix of people came together in Dakar, Senegal from 13-19 October 2007, to debate issues of men, gender and power: unconventional practical academics, open-minded policymakers, reflective practitioners and activists. It was a unique gathering and offered a unique opportunity – to inform and inspire a greater engagement by men in the struggle for gender justice and broader social change. The symposium was borne out of a realization that much of the most innovative work on men and masculinities has worked at the level of the personal, such as seeking to transform men’s sexual behaviour, violence against women and relations of fatherhood. The HIV epidemic has forced an open space for greater acknowledgement of the fluidity and diversity of men’s sexual and social identities. …

  • Archive Resource

    Save us from Saviours

    This 10 minute film 'Save us from Saviours' explores the work of the sex worker collective Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP). VAMP has been providing HIV and development interventions in India since 1996. The film introduces the viewer to the collective and follows three members – Kamlabai, Shabana and Raju, who is the son of a sex worker. It highlights how they mobilise sex workers to claim their rights and support their community. …

  • Archive Resource

    Sexualidade e Empoderamento: Uma Conexão íntima

    What does sexuality have to do with women’s empowerment? Research from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC shows that sexuality affects women’s political and economic empowerment in a number of important ways. For example, in the ways that women experience seeking election to political office, how women are treated and respected (or disrespected) in the workplace and in public, and how families and communities place expectations on how women should behave. Being exposed to sexual harassment and sexual violence and not being able to exercise choice in their sexual relationships affects women’s well-being and ultimately undermines political, social and economic empowerment. …

  • Archive Resource

    Sexuality And Empowerment: An Intimate Connection

    What does sexuality have to do with women’s empowerment? Research from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC shows that sexuality affects women’s political and economic empowerment in a number of important ways. For example, in the ways that women experience seeking election to political office, how women are treated and respected (or disrespected) in the workplace and in public, and how families and communities place expectations on how women should behave. Being exposed to sexual harassment and sexual violence and not being able to exercise choice in their sexual relationships affects women’s well-being and ultimately undermines political, social and economic empowerment. In this policy paper, we demonstrate why sexuality is so important for women’s empowerment, drawing on evidence generated by research carried out by the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC and collaborative initiatives with the DFID-funded IDS Sexuality and Development Programme. …

  • Archive Resource

    Sexuality And The Development Industry, Development, 52.1

    A Chinese lesbian activist shows photos from her three way fake ‘wedding’, held in a Beijing restaurant to open up discussion on restrictive social and sexual norms; a Nicaraguan consultant tells the tale of how he was told the sexual and reproductive strategy he’d been commissioned to write contained ‘too much sex’; two Indian sex worker rights activists trade stories of hapless NGO efforts to ‘rehabilitate’ sex workers; and a Nigerian activist explains how she used discussions of multiple orgasms as a means to spark discussions on sex, pleasure, relationships, intimacy, polygamy and female genital mutilation with married couples in the northern Nigerian state of Minna, where Sharia law has been in place since 2000. These and other conversations brought together over 70 activists, academics, donors and development practitioners from more than 25 countries at a workshop at the Institute of Development Studies, in April 2008. The workshop was hosted by the IDS Sexuality and Development programme and co-sponsored by the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium, both of which are funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. It sought to explore the linkages between sexuality and the development industry. …

  • Archive Resource

    Sex, Work And Citizenship: The VAMP Sex Workers' Collective In Maharashtra

    This chapter explores the evolution of The Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP) collective. VAMP is a sex-worker led organization born in 1996 in the context of a growing HIV/AIDS movement which has generally taken an instrumental approach to sex workers. In contrast to many sex worker organisations emerging around that time, VAMP took an explicitly rights-based approach from the outset. It aimed to forge and consolidate a common identity among women in sex work which could empower them to articulate and assert their full range of rights as well as protect themselves from HIV infection. …

  • Archive Resource

    Sex Work And Its Linkages With Informal Labour Markets In India, IDS Working Paper 416

    Based on the results of the First Pan-India Survey of Female Sex Workers (n=3000), this paper positions sex work within the broader spectrum of informal labour markets that women engage with in India. It puts forth an important dimension missing so far in sex work studies in India – of sex workers with prior or simultaneous labour market work experience. Informal labour markets act as important sites/junctures linking poverty with sex work. For a substantial proportion of respondents, sex work was not their first experience of paid work. …

  • Archive Resource

    Sex Workers' Struggles In Bangladesh: Learning For The Women's Movement, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    In 1999, the government of Bangladesh forcefully evicted sex workers from a large cluster of brothels just outside Dhaka. Members of the sex worker organisation, Ulka, immediately sought support from Naripokkho, a country-wide women’s NGO. The Naripokkho office was transformed into an impromptu shelter with over 40 women sleeping there, and a few more staying with staff in their homes. This led to a new set of relationships and alliances between the sex workers and staff. …

  • Research Project

    Contestations

    Contestations is an e-journal whose aim is to elicit lively disagreements and to offer a platform for argumentation. It is inspired by a vision of deliberation that is about people feeling able to air their views, listen to a plurality of positioned responses and take from that what they will - without any pressure to arrive at a consensual conclusion. It is, above all, about the freedom to dissent with any of the orthodoxies that exist in the field of women's empowerment - and there are many - and take the opportunity to provoke others to think again about the things they take for granted. …