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ANJALI PATHAK PRESIDENT, URJA December, 2013. Background- Najafgarh Najafgarh is one of the three sub divisions of South West Delhi District. S ituated.

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Presentation on theme: "ANJALI PATHAK PRESIDENT, URJA December, 2013. Background- Najafgarh Najafgarh is one of the three sub divisions of South West Delhi District. S ituated."— Presentation transcript:


2 Background- Najafgarh Najafgarh is one of the three sub divisions of South West Delhi District. S ituated on the outskirts of south western part of Delhi, it borders the the State of Haryana and is in close proximity to Gurgaon and the International Airport. Massive acres of farm houses, agricultural farmlands belonging to affluent and rich people are also located here Total population is over 9 lacs and literacy rate is 82.83%.,

3 URJA Study

4  Recognized as Scheduled Caste (SC), Perans were traditionally nomadic goatherds from J &K, Rajasthan and Haryana  Settled down in Rewla Khanpur village in the 70s under the 20 point programme of the Government  Livelihoods of Perans disappeared with rapid industrialization  Today, there are 125 families residing in the village with a population of approximately 1500 people

5  Today, nearly 70% of women and girls (16-45) in the community are forced into prostitution.  In the early 70s, only 4-5 families were engaged in prostitution.  The girls enter prostitution soon after marriage  Men are usually unemployed, live off the earnings of the women and are often addicted to alcohol

6 Aims, Objectives &Methodology Aims of the study : 1.Find out the causes and consequences of intergenerational prostitution in Najafgarh, 2.Define everyday situation in the community 3.Explore the extent of marginalization in the family and outside 4. Understand their needs and aspirations

7 Aims, Objectives &Methodology Broad questions addressed: 1.Physical environment and prostitution- Perans live in an unauthorised colony. Not recognized by government with no support on issues such as health and sanitation. Uncertainty and lack of security heightens the sense of marginalization of Peran women. 2.Bride price –Bride price, a traditional fee paid by groom’s family to bride’s family widely prevalent. The amount of bride price is steadily increasing ( Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 2 lacs nowadays). Repaying debts by wife may force a woman to remain in prostitution.

8 Aims, Objectives &Methodology Broad questions addressed: 4.Child marriage – Average age of marriage for a girl is 16-17 years. Early marriage heightens her sense of powerlessness and makes her more ‘violence tolerant’ both within the family and outside? 5.Commodification of woman and her body might be a result and a cause for women to work as prostitutes. Is the woman’s body a commodity? What is the respect for woman in the community?

9 Aims, Objectives &Methodology Methodology:  Descriptive qualitative research design  49 women participated in one comprehensive interview based on structured questionnaire)  The scientific approach chosen for this study has been inspired by the phenomenological perspective  Phenomenological approach -characterized by openness for the subject’s experiences. Focus is on exact descriptions of actors’ own experiences (Kvale, 1996) and projection of their requirements based on their own needs.


11 Age of women Peran Women enter prostitution only after marriage. As evident in the table above majority of them are found in the age group 18-40 years

12 Education Out of 49, 32 women are illiterates, 15 have passed up to primary level, one is 8 th pass and only one is a matriculate. Low levels of education hinders a broader world view and Peran women have accepted the fact that prostitution is their ‘fate’.

13 Age at Marriage 43 out of 49 women have been married off before attaining the legal age of marriage i.e. 18 years. There are instances of girls getting married at the age of 12. One woman aged 17 was found married for the second time. Only six out of 49 women are found to be married after 18 years but before 20 years.

14 Income The study revealed that 28 families out of 49 families earn between Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 8,000/-, 15 families earn more than Rs. 8,000/- month and the remaining 6 families sustain on less than Rs. 5,000/- per month.

15 Income from prostitution The respondents were asked about their earning from prostitution. 15 women are earning more than Rs. 8,000 per month and 29 women earn between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 8,000 per month. It may not be out of place to mention that most of the women in the community are the sole bread winners in the family.

16 Time period in prostitution The respondents were asked to explain the number of years / months they have been involved in prostitution. 29 women there for more than five years (some are in the trade for the last 15 to 20 years also). 15 women are there for the last 3-5 years and the remaining five for less than three years (the youngest one is a 20 year woman who was going to customers for the last one month

17 Whether full time or part time into prostitution? 48 out of 49 women interviewed are engaged full time into prostitution. They normally leave their houses in the evening and go to highways in a group to solicit customers. Only one elder lady responded that she is engaged on a part time basis that is during the night and during the day time, she sells eggs and tea in the hamlet..

18 Who influenced the women into prostitution? The influence factor was analyzed in the context of entry into prostitution. It was found that husbands/ families have a greater role to influence women and to lure them to join prostitution. 34 out of 49 women said it was their husbands / families who persuaded them into it. 12 women were influenced by friends and surroundings and 3 mentioned that it was their decision

19 Whether other family members are involved in prostitution? Only married members of the family are pressurized to earn money through prostitution. It was found from the response that during the normal course, the sister-in-laws (jethanis and devranis) and sometimes the mother – in laws accompany the women to the highways to solicit customers.

20 Status in the family after joining prostitution vis-à-vis before joining it 44 out of 49 women have revealed that after getting into prostitution, they are consulted and their consent is being taken in household decisions. The male members are unconcerned about how they are earning their income. In some cases, the earning female members are the ultimate decision makers in the family

21 Who controls the money? In majority of cases the female members who earn the money control the same. They take the male members into confidence in so far as monetary utilization is concerned. Money is broadly spent for betterment of the family. Only 4 respondents have revealed that the money earned by them is controlled and spent by their husbands and in-laws.

22 Who takes the decision in the family? The study tried to understand the decision making process in the families among the Perans. They have a collective approach to decision making. They sit together, discuss among themselves in the family and arrive at a decision based on consultation and consent. The exceptions are there but this is the normal practice among the Pernas..

23 Whether male members are earning? The husbands of Peran women are living off the income of their wives. 45 out of 49 women responded that their husbands do not earn anything. They spend the money earned by their wives from prostitution by playing cards, gambling and on liquor. Only 4 women responded that their husbands are engaged in activities like daily wage manual work, driving and shop keeping

24 Bride Price Attempt was made to understand the prevalence of bride price among the Pernas. It was found that bride price was paid in the marriage of all the 49 women. The amount ranged from Rs. 7000/- to Rs. 90,000/-

25 Does bride price lead to prostitution? Analysis was made to understand the linkage between the payment of bride price and prostitution among the Pernas. 14 women were of the view that bride price leads to prostitution and believe that they are made to earn money paid to their maternal families at the time of marriage. 7 believed that there is no link between the two..

26 Have you ever been arrested? Women were asked whether they have ever been subjected to police action. 25 women said yes and 24 said no. The women who said yes were asked to explain their experiences. Physical abuse and harassment by police is a common practice.

27 Multiple factors – Prostitution (Peran Women) Some contributory, direct and indirect factors that lead Peran women into prostitution are as follows: Poverty- Low household income and sole earners Education – None or very low education levels Unauthorised colony: No access to basic amenities like sanitation and health. This heightens their sense of insecurity and marginalization Normative systems like child marriage and bride price Familial pressure and expectation- Once married, a subtle coercion operates from in-laws and husbands to get into prostitution

28 Multiple factors – Prostitution (Peran Women) Lack of skills: Low skills leading to lack of livelihood options Powerlessness- Stems from the lack of decision making power about their future and what they want to do. Married at an early age with low levels of education they are unable to take control of their own lives Stigma- Once into prostitution the stigma margnalises them from the mainstream society. They tend to have a fatalistic attitude

29 Recommendations Multiple interdependent personal and contextual factors are responsible for a woman’s entry into prostitution The factors are not present in the same degree or form for women in prostitution Precursors to prostitution, such as economic necessity may force a woman to resort to prostitution as a resistance or response to poverty ( Hardman, 1997). Punekar and Rao (1962) study in Bombay has also revealed poverty and destitution as contributory, predisposing or direct causes that can lead a woman into prostitution

30 Recommendations Women in prostitution should be seen as individuals with unique histories and experiences Prostitution should be viewed as violence against women and gender based domination Identifying determinants at the individual ( a person’s internal drive and abilities), relational (associated with close relationships and informal social network), structural (societal circumstances) levels, along with other factors such as stigma and discrimination should be further researched while studying the problems and solutions for women in prostitution


32 URJA VISION To end commercial sexual exploitation and other forms of violence against women and children by creating an environment where women, youth and children can develop themselves to be agents of their own change and where opportunities/spaces are created to enable them to participate fully in achieving their rights. MISSION To prevent sex trafficking of women and children, especially those trapped/ found in intergenerational prostitution by empowering them and advocating for their educational, economic, social and legal rights.

33 OBJECTIVES o To prevent second generation prostitution. o To advance leadership amongst women in prostitution and to build awareness of their rights. o To promote economic self sufficiency of women in prostitution. o To advocate collectively for educational opportunities, economic resources and legal protection of trafficked and other marginalized women and children o To lobby with policy makers and government to pro-actively address gender based violence and discrimination.

34 Establishment: June, 2011, New Delhi Name of the Organization’s President: Ms. Anjali Pathak Registered Address: House no 43, PURANI BASTI, REWLA KHANPUR, NAJAFGARH, NEW DELHI: 110043 Mobile: +(91)9999430741 Email: Registration Details: The Indian Trusts Act, 1882(No. 3095, New Delhi). Facebook link- Website:

35 About URJA’s President Ms. Anjali Pathak is the President and Founder Trustee of URJA. She is a human rights practitioner and lawyer with over 10 years of experience in the field of anti- trafficking and other development issues. She holds a Masters degree in ‘Understanding and Securing Human Rights’ from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICS), University of London and an M.Phil in Sociology from the University of Pune, India.




39 Thank you

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