Sex Workers in Bangladesh

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Impact of RDRS organisation on the lives of sex workers

Katja Harapainen Thesis, Autumn 2007 Diaconia University of Applied Sciences Diak South Helsinki, Finland Degree Programme in Nursing Bachelor of Nursing


Katja Harapainen. Sex workers in Bangladesh. Impact of RDRS organisation on the lives of sex workers. 68p., 3 appendices. Language: English. Helsinki, autumn 2007. Diaconia University of Applied Sciences. Degree Programme in Nursing. Bachelor of Nursing

The purpose of this thesis was to air the views of sex workers attending Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS) Bangladesh drop-in center. Firstly, the aim was to learn what kind of difficulties the sex workers had faced in their lives. Secondly, the objective was to collect information on what kind of support the sex workers received for their well-being and health from the RDRS Bangladesh drop-in center. Additionally, I studied how the sex workers saw their future. This thesis was done in collaboration with the organisations RDRS Bangladesh and Soroptimist International of Finland. This study was conducted using a qualitative research method with an ethnographical approach. The research data was collected by using half-structured thematic interviews, observation and examination of RDRS’ documents. The research took place in autumn 2006 during my international work practice placement in Bangladesh. The data collection was done in Bangladesh, in the town of Saidpur where RDRS Bangladesh drop-in center for prostituted women was situated. I conducted two group interviews with 19 and 15 women aged 18-45 and six individual interviews. The data was analysed in Finland by using the content analysis. The theory of Transcultural Nursing was used as a theoretical framework of this study. The results of the study showed that sex workers had had hard lives. They had faced e.g. extreme poverty, maltreatment, sexual abuse, and contempt. The sex workers emphasized the importance of the RDRS Bangladesh drop-in center in their lives. The drop-in center provided them a shelter, security, equal treatment, and opportunities for bathing, training, relaxing and health care. As future prospects they included hopes of ending prostitution and having a normal life without homelessness and contempt of fellow citizens. For the near future they hoped to have a shelter open 24 hours per day instead of the current eight hours. It can be concluded that RDRS Bangladesh drop-in center has had a substantial influence on the interviewed sex workers’ lives. RDRS Bangladesh has done valuable work with prostituted women in the area. The sex workers seem to need holistic support and supervision to improve their wellbeing also in the future.

Keywords: sex worker, prostitution, Bangladesh, non-governmental organisation, transcultural nursing


Katja Harapainen. Prostituoidut naiset Bangladeshissa. RDRS järjestön vaikutus prostituoitujen naisten elämään. 68s., 3 liitettä. Kieli: Englanti. Opinnäytetyö, syksy 2007. Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulu, Diak Etelä Helsinki. Hoitotyön koulutusohjelma, Sairaanhoitaja AMK.

Tämän opinnäytetyön tarkoituksena oli tuoda esille niiden prostituoitujen naisten näkemyksiä, jotka osallistuivat RDRS Bangladeshin ylläpitämän keskuksen toimintaan. Opinnäytetyössäni tarkastelin prostituoitujen naisten elämää. Tarkoituksena oli tuoda esille millaisia vaikeuksia naiset olivat joutuneet kohtaamaan elämässään. Halusin myös tuoda julki millaista tukea prostituoidut naiset olivat saaneet RDRS Bangladesh järjestöltä heidän hyvinvointiinsa ja terveyteensä. Kuvasin työssäni myös sitä millaisena prostituoidut naiset näkevät tulevaisuutensa. Työ tehtiin yhteistyössä RDRS Bangladesh järjestön sekä Soroptimist International of Finland järjestön kanssa. Tutkimus on kvalitatiivinen ja tehtiin käyttäen etnografista tutkimusotetta. Aineisto koottiin käyttämällä puolistrukturoitua haastattelumenetelmää, havainnoimalla...
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