Sexual Livelihoods

Prostitution or Partnership? Wifestyles in Tanzanian Artisanal Gold-Mining Settlements


Bryceson, D.F., J.B. Jønsson, and H. Verbrugge. 2013. “Prostitution or Partnership? Wifestyles in Tanzanian Artisanal Gold-Mining Settlements.” Journal of Modern African Studies 51 (1): 33–56.

Authors: D. F. Bryceson, J. B. Jønsson, H. Verbrugge


Tanzania, along with several other African countries, is experiencing a national mining boom, which has prompted hundreds of thousands of men and women to migrate to mineral-rich sites. At these sites, relationships between the sexes defy the sexual norms of the surrounding countryside to embrace new relational amalgams of polygamy, monogamy and promiscuity. This article challenges the assumption that female prostitution is widespread. Using interview data with women migrants, we delineate six ‘wifestyles’, namely sexual-cum-conjugal relationships between men and women that vary in their degree of sexual and material commitment. In contrast to bridewealth payments, which involved elders formalizing marriages through negotiations over reproductive access to women, sexual negotiations and relations in mining settlements involves men and women making liaisons and co-habitation arrangements directly between each other without third party intervention. Economic interdependence may evolve thereafter, with the possibility of women as well as men, offering material support to their sex partners.

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexuality Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2013

Human Rights, the Sex Industry and Foreign Troops: Feminist Analysis of Nationalism in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines


Zimelis, Andris. 2009. “Human Rights, the Sex Industry and Foreign Troops: Feminist Analysis of Nationalism in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.” Cooperation and Conflict 44 (1): 51-71. 

Author: Andris Zimelis


This article explores the relationship between prostitution, nationalism and foreign policies using a feminist analysis framework. Although scholars have dealt with the theoretical role of women in nationalist projects, there is little work factually supporting these theories. There is also a paucity of works demonstrating the role of prostitution in national security policies. This article rectifies these shortcomings and demonstrates that, although prostitution is illegal in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, these governments have played an active role in supporting and maintaining the prostitution industry geared at servicing US troops. The US troops, in turn, have protected the national security of each of these countries for all of the post-Second World War era. In this context, it seems clear that `national security' does not include the physical, economic, legal and social insecurity of Japanese, Korean and Filipino women despite their contribution to the most quintessential Realist policy — national security.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Japan, Philippines, South Korea

Year: 2009

Sex for Food in a Refugee Economy: Human Rights Implications and Accountability


Murray, Royce Bernstein. 1999. “Sex for Food in a Refugee Economy: Human Rights Implications and Accountability.” Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 14 (4): 985-1025.

Author: Royce Bernstein Murray

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Economies, Gender, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 1999

The Shame of Hwang v. Japan: How the International Community Has Failed Asia's 'Comfort Women'


Ahmed, Afreen R. 2004. “The Shame of Hwang v. Japan: How the International Community Has Failed Asia's 'Comfort Women.'” Texas Journal of Women & the Law 14 (1): 1-121.

Author: Afreen R. Ahmed


In 1897, the Japanese intellectual Uchimura Kanzo wrote in an essay entitled "National Repentance," but it was not until 1937 that Japan began greatly expanding its officially sanctioned and closely regulated "comfort system" for the sexual gratification of the Japanese soldiers as they waged war throughout East Asia and the Pacific. The states parties to the treaty included some whose nationals had been enslaved as "comfort women" - Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the Philippines - but the treaty contained no mention of the victims of rape, forced prostitution, or sexual slavery. Japan has argued that during the war, neither slavery nor wartime rape was proscribed by conventional or customary international law. The sexual enslavement of the "comfort women" during World War II was, without a doubt, a violation of the customary international law regarding slavery and slavery-like practices. Documents subsequent to Hague IV confirm that rape and forced prostitution were considered violations of the customary international law of war. On the one hand, both Japanese and Allied military cultures regarded rape as an acceptable side effect of war; on the other hand, the post-war Asian cultures regarded the rape victim as socially unacceptable, partly to blame for her victimization, and nothing more than a source of shame.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, International Law, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2004

Abuse of Power: Sexual Exploitation of Refugee Women and Girls


Ferris, Elizabeth. 2007. “Abuse of Power: Sexual Exploitation of Refugee Women and Girls.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 32 (3): 584–91.

Author: Elizabeth Ferris


The fact that refugee and displaced women and children are particularly vulnerable to violence has been widely acknowledged by the international community over the past twenty years. Sexual violence is frequently used as a tool of war; thus, women flee their communities because of sexual and gender-based violence. Too often, they encounter violence and exploitation in their flight to safety—at the hands of warlords, soldiers, armed gangs, and border guards. In refugee and displaced persons camps, they are vulnerable to violence when they search for firewood and food. With the breakdown in social norms, they are at increased risk of domestic and community violence. When humanitarian relief in the form of food and other necessities is insufficient for their families, they sometimes turn to prostitution. But in the past few years, there has been growing awareness of sexual exploitation by a different group of perpetrators: humanitarian workers who are charged with protecting and assisting refugees and the displaced.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Violence

Year: 2007

Truck Drivers, Middlemen and Commercial Sex Workers: AIDS and the Mediation of Sex in South West Uganda


Gysels, M., R. Pool, and K. Bwanika. 2001. “Truck Drivers, Middlemen and Commercial Sex Workers: AIDS and the Mediation of Sex in South West Uganda.” AIDS Care 13 (3): 373–85.

Authors: M. Gysels, R. Pool, K. Bwanika


Although long distance truck drivers have been implicated in the spread of HIV in Africa, there is a paucity of studies of their sexual cultures. This paper reports on a study of the sexual culture of drivers, mediators and commercial sex workers (CSWs) in a roadside truck stop on the Trans-Africa highway in south west Uganda. Sixty-nine truck drivers, six middlemen and 12 CSWs were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. Interviewing truck drivers also entailed participating in the town’s nightlife and spending much time in the bars. Truck drivers stop briefly at the truck stop for various reasons: to eat, sleep, have sex and sell goods they are carrying. Middlemen mediate the latter two activities. Middlemen buy goods from the drivers and introduce them to ‘suitable’ women with whom they can have casual sex. Most drivers have sex when they spend the night at the truck stop, and most make use of the services of the middlemen. The most important reasons why drivers use middlemen are that the latter speak the local languages and, in particular, know the trustworthy and ‘safe’ (HIV-negative) women. The CSWs use middlemen mainly because they are a guarantee that the driver will pay and they usually ensure that drivers pay well. The mediation system is becoming increasingly professionalized. Most drivers claimed to use condoms during casual sex, and this was conŽfrmed by the CSWs. General use of condoms is encouraging, particularly given the context of a culture generally opposed to condoms. The idea that middlemen can recognize ‘safe’ women is worrying. However, given their key position, middlemen could form the hub of an opinion leader type intervention focused on drivers and the professional group of sex workers described here, providing condoms, advising about the importance of condom use in all casual sexual encounters, giving information about HIV and STDs, and possibly referring drivers and women to appropriate sources of HIV counselling and testing and STD treatment.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, sex workers

Topics: Health, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2001

Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition


Kempadoo, Kamala, and Jo Doezema. 1998. Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Kamala Kempadoo, Jo Doezema


Global Sex Workers presents the personal experiences of sex workers around the world. Drawing on their individual narratives, it explores international struggles to uphold the rights of this often marginalized group. (Amazon)

Topics: Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Rights

Year: 1998

Gender-Based Violence as a Weapon of War


Nebesar, D. A. 1998. “Gender-Based Violence as a Weapon of War.” University of California Davis Journal of International Law and Policy 4: 147–80.

Author: D. A. Nebesar


This article focuses on rape as a concrete war strategy used for the purpose of annihilating an entire group of peoples. This article begins with a discussion of the historical background of rape in wartime (Section I). The article then turns to rape as a weapon of war in the former Yugoslavia (Section II). Section III discusses forced pregnancy and forced maternity as illustrative of the particular nature of rape in the Balkan conflict. Section IV explores the aftermath of rape for women survivors and specifically its cultural and familial ramifications. This section also discusses forced prostitution and prostitution as a result of rape in war. Section V explores the role pornography may have played in creating and exacerbating this scenario. Section VI addresses whether international legal mechanisms can provide effective remedies. Section VII discusses the definition of this war as either international or internal and the ramifications of each. Finally, rape in during armed conflict is compared and contrasted to rape that takes place during peace time.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Balkans

Year: 1998

Violence Against Women, Sex Industry and The Business of United Nations Peace Operations


Punyarut, Nunlada. 2006. “Violence Against Women, Sex Industry and The Business of United Nations Peace Operations.” Thai Journal of Public Administration 4 (1–2549): 81–99.

Author: Nunlada Punyarut

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2006


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