Friday, April 19, 2013

Blog 10: Sex trade in Afghanistan has created and Economic Boom

In Mazar-I-Sharif, Afghanistan there is a new boom in economic success. This has much to do with the ease of access to prostitutes. Mazar is considered Afghanistans’ unofficial capital of prostitution. Here, Women can be seen out in public places socializing with men, which, in Afghanistan is not a common occurrence.  The sex trade in Mazar is found in correlation with the boom of business. As the proximity to Central Asia and its relative peace and stability have transformed it into a trading hub, the economy has flourished. Businesses, local and regional are coming to this city, and not because the food is good. Nilofar Sayar, director of a womens rights group in Mazar that offers job training to sex workers, said “mazar is a big city, and compared to the other provinces a lot of prostitutes work here. There are a lot of businesses, which means lots of money and customers.” Prostitution helps bring to light some of the contradictions of the male-dominated Afghan society. For instance, women can be put to death in Afghanistan for even the implication of immorality. The recent boom in sex trade operations leading to the heightened economic success of this city can be found in correlation to the use of technology as well. Technology has made it easier for the men to get a hold of the prostitutes and makes it easier to get away with. In addition to technology, corruption of police officers is why the sex trade is going strong. 

Most of the time, the women in Afghanistan who are prostituting their bodies are impoverished, divorced or widowed, and/or struggling to support a family. Some of these women are forced into prostitution by their families or are doing it to support their husbands drug addiction. Even though the economy is doing great in this city, prostitution isn’t something these women want to do. These women already have practically no rights and they aren’t exactly allowed to work at real jobs to make money to support their families, so they turn to this as a last resort. It is amazing that in this city, women could be killed for prostitution and yet it has helped the city out to a very large extent. Some of these women have to prostitute behind their husbands backs to bring in money to support their family because if their husbands found out they would be killed. How does it make any sense for the “bread winner” to be killed for their job if it is the only thing keeping their family off of the streets? That is right it doesn’t. I think the prostitution problem in Mazar is always going to be an issue, however if women were given the right to an education and opportunities for more jobs there would more than likely be a downward slope of prostitution.

Concetta Katz
4/19/13 - 8:36am
Sociology 202-01
Human Rights

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