The Human Impact

Prostitution: their bodies, their rights

It is seen as a job no woman would want to do. A job no woman would willingly do.

Yet, spending time in one of Asia’s largest red light districts gives a view of prostitution that jars with what many feminists, gender rights activists and, in fact, society in general believe.

The Sonagachi district – a labyrinth of narrow bustling lanes lined with tea and cigarette stalls, three-storey brothels, and beauty parlours – in the east Indian city of Kolkata raises eyebrows with many who know this place.

It is a place for “fallen women” or “potita” as they say in Bengali, the local language.

Here, heavily made-up women clad in bright saris stand outside dark doorways, leading up narrow staircases into small rooms furnished with just a bed and perhaps a television.

VIDEO BLOG – ‘Scarlet Road’, the hidden side of sex work

By Maria Caspani

SHEFFIELD, England (TrustLaw) – Can sex work ever be a good thing or even do some good?

Meet Rachel Wotton, a witty, outspoken young woman from Sydney, Australia, where she has been working legally as a sex worker for the past 18 years.

It was her choice, and one she is proud of.

“I realised there was quite a lot of diversity within the sex workers community,” Wotton told TrustLaw during an interview in Sheffield, where she and director Catherine Scott are presenting the documentary in which Wotton stars.

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