Prostitution: Law and Gender Equality

Topics: Law, Human rights, Prostitution Pages: 4 (1217 words) Published: October 21, 2014
There are too many women and girls who are lured to prostitution. Men and boys are also being exposed for sexual purposes. In the 1998 study by the International Labor Organization (ILO), it was estimated that there were at least 400,000 to 500,000 prostituted persons in the Philippines with an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 children. In 2004, the number of those exploited in prostitution alone reached 600,000 and it ballooned to 800,000 in 2005. In a 2009 study, there were around 800,000 prostituted persons in the Philippines; half of them are children. Annually, it is estimated that 3,266 children are forced into prostitution. The Philippines ranks fourth among the nations with the most number of children in prostitution as revealed in a study of UNICEF. Prostitution may now be the country’s fourth largest source of GNP according to the study by the Psychological Trauma Program of the University of the Philippines.2

Prostitution thrives because of gender inequality and lack of respect for women’s human rights clearly manifested on the false notion that women are inferior, sexual objects and commodities while men are superior, decision-makers and owners of properties. The system also thrives because of complex socio-cultural and economic factors -- poverty, under-education, unemployment and economic disparity and power relations, making it easier for those who have more money and power to exploit more vulnerable people and lead them into prostitution and the sex trade. Women do not make a rational choice in entering prostitution; they settle with the limited options available to them bearing conditions of inequality that are set by the customers who pay women to do what they want them to do. At some point, State policies which are gender blind on the issue of prostitution may even result in compromising Filipino women’s bodily integrity to sex tourists, foreign and local, military and big business. Our society has made prostitution “hidden in plain sight” –...
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