Sex and Russia

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Sex and Russia
Russia has been through some pretty tough times throughout the past decade with the collapse of the state and the economy. Also, the criminalization of the state and economy has made the outlook of the Russian citizens look bad. In the early 1990's things started to look up for Russia until the crash of 1998 which I believe was the stake in the heart for Russia's economy and the people who lived there. With the economy sputtering there was a lot of Russian citizens unemployed and with that they had to find alternatives to survive. The most common alternative for women was sex, which is anything from prostitution to human trafficking. With all these devastating events Russia is left with a big economic crisis and if it keeps going on there will soon be nothing, but criminals and prostitutes that will occupy the state of Russia.

Mikhail Gorbachev became in power in the late 1980's and implemented a domestic economic reform that he hoped would improve living standards and worker productivity. He also won the noble peace prize in 1990 for his accomplishments. One theory of why the USSR collapsed is that the United States escalation of the arms race between the superpowers caused the USSR to bankrupt itself and collapse. The collapse of the Soviet Union presented many opportunities for reform with in a new democratic government and a market economy. Russia did not capitalize on these opportunities, so instead of building a system based on rule of law, criminals squandered the opportunities and engaged in a self enriching resource grab. Russian organized crime groups have in many ways replaced the state in providing, employment, protection, and security. The criminalization and the lack of political will to change this situation have resulted in the state of Russia being reluctant to acknowledge that there is a trade for women. The result of this criminalization has created ten years of severe economic decline and an end to social welfare and health care systems, leaving most Russians without social benefits or adequate health care.

Russia, after the fall of the Soviet Union, was going through a series of depressions. In August of 1998, Russia defaulted on billions of dollars in foreign loans, causing banks to fail, and the value of the ruble to collapse. This was considered the crash of 1998 and was far more severe than the Great Depression that nearly paralyzed world capitalism following 1929 in the United States. With the banks failing the savings that people had managed to accumulate were gone. Following the crash, real per capita income fell by 26% of what it was in 1996 (The Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, 1992-98). The result of the crash put the majority of the population living below the poverty line or subsistence level of 1,138 rubles ($40 US) a month. The average monthly wage in spring of 2000 was 2,038 rubles ($71 US) per month (Russian and Eurasia Program, 2000). With all of this depression the unemployment rate was skyrocketing.

Unemployment in Russia affected women more than the men. One of the reasons why this was is because of the way that they face increased discrimination in hiring. The World Bank figures indicate that women in Russia earned only 70% of men's wages for the same work and make up 70% of the official unemployment (Eaves). With unemployment skyrocketing, more and more Russian women have turned to alternative ways of getting income and the most popular alternative is prostitution. Another common alternative for women is to leave the country of Russia by joining marriage firms or employment agencies, but they get tricked into joining the sex trade with false advertisements of the agencies.

Women in Russia have had the hardest times during the depression because they are denied many jobs and are unable to survive. The Russian women have no other choice but to join in the sex industry either if they are tricked or are willing to join. Russia has two types of...
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