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Old age livelihood planning of Sex Workers (SW): Bangladesh experience
January 18, 2011

Masuma Billah tries to explore to give a picture of old age sex workers, their economic and social status, their resource management capability and about their planning for old age livelihood...

Sex Workers (SW) sale sex for livelihood and endorse it as occupation. The concealed reality of the hidden demand of SWs in society is the driven force of this livelihood. The clients of SWs keep themselves hidden and it is complicated to find the actual status of the demand and supply side of this trade. The sex workers are the group of illiterate, poor, ignorant, helpless women who are denied from social and familial support and also to live with dignity and self esteem.

There is no inbuilt mechanism to enumerate the actual number of SWs existing in the country. Moreover the professional involvement of SWs is completely ignored though they have taken this occupation for bread and butter. The social status of SWs in Bengali society is considered so low that they are not even allowed to wear shoes or sandals outside the brothel. Even death fails to end their misery. Irrespective to religion they are denied from basic funeral rights.

It is a normal practice and scenario that people tend to secure their livelihood for old age. People living in society have their own professional involvement and accordingly they find means and methods for old age security or try to design a plan for future survival with the family or other kin. The farmers have their own plan so that they can plant tree or provide education for children who may help them in future. A service holder may deposit money in bank or open pension scheme. Building shelter, deposit money, gather assets, savings for health checkup or investing money for business or children’s education is the well known ways how societal people want to secure upcoming old age life. But the SWs; extreme proletariats of the society, have no preparation for retirement.  The study tried to give a picture of their economic and social status, their resource management capability and about their planning for old age livelihood.

Key words: Sex Worder (SW), Old Age Livelihood, Inheritance of Land and Assets (Natural Resource), Livelihood Capability (Human Capital), Social Opportunity (Claim & Access), Resource Management (Financial Capital).

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