Summary Report of Young Opinion Matters Survey

YOUNG OPINIONS MATTER
YOUTH COVID 19 AND SEX WORKERS


We have successfully completed a google survey recently and are happy to shear the summary
report of the same. Saheli Sangh, Pune- AAVAJ Project (Advocacy Against Violence & Alliance
for Justice) and the National Network of Sex Workers have conducted this quick opinion survey
on the COVID -19 lockdown impact on Sex Workers and perceptions of youth towards it.
Sex work is defined as provision of sexual services by adult women, men and transgender
persons for money, goods or other benefits in a commercial context. Providing sexual services is
the sole means of livelihood for the sex workers’ community. Their work is denied social
sanction and they are forced to struggle for their very existence. The primary bane of sex work,
colloquially known as “dhanda” (business), is that it has been criminalized, often pushing sex
workers to work clandestinely. Their marginalization results in them having to overcome barriers
in all spheres, whether accessing health, housing, education or justice.
As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it’s clear that the sex workers’
community would be badly hit by it. Far from being a “non-essential” activity, sex work is their
bread and butter. The lock-down has thus brought on the anvil the livelihoods of tens of
thousands of sex-workers, their own physical and mental well-being and of those dependent on
them. Since March 2020 India is facing the impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic and is now in lockdown phase-IV. Both the pandemic and the lock-down have directly impacted our daily lives in
many ways but we are an invisible community that lives on the margins of society. We are
known and yet no one knows us!
We at Saheli Sangh Pune along with the National Network of Sex workers, (NNSW-India) have
taken an initiative to raise our voices to help Society and the government to understand the plight
of sex workers and the impact the epidemic had on our lives and livelihood. One of the ways we
have chosen to address this apathy is by asking young people to answer a simple survey on their
thoughts on sex workers and the impact of the lock down. This survey was launched for the
limited period of time. We have reached out to the young volunteers who are associated with
Saheli Sangh and our partner organizations of National Network of Sex Workers working in
various states in India. Few well-wishers and volunteers from USA also responded to this
initiative.
We had total 20 questions in this survey form asking the youth their perception about sex work
and sex workers and impact of Covid 19 and lock down on their lives. Total 185 respondents
have participated in this survey. This is the first experience for Saheli Sangh to conduct survey
online.
This report will help our work to effectively prepare advocacy programs that can address this
issue.
This initiative is supported by Rise up & Gender Equity Initiative (GEI)
MAJOR OUTCOMES OF THE SURVEY

  1. More than 95% of the respondents were from the age group 20 to 25 yrs.
    2.Gender- Among the 185 respondents, one was a transgender 93 were females and 91 were
    male.
    3.Profession- students, teachers, business, engineers, lawyers, dancer/choreographer, social
    worker, counselor, house wives, IT professionals, PhD scholars
    4.More than 90% respondents don’t feel that there is difference between prostitution and
    sex work
    5.More than 67% of the youngsters responded that women enter into sex work by choice
    6.More than 25% respondent felt that doing sex work is not equivalent of being victim
    7.More than 50% of the youth felt that it’s a false assumption that existence of sex work
    can prevent rape and sexual assaults in society
    8.Majority of the respondents felt that sex workers are not able to maintain good living,
    hygiene and economic conditions
    9.More than 79% of the respondents felt that financial support is the primary need of the
    women due to Covid 19 and lock down situation followed by health needs
  2. 84% expressed need to provide alternat livelihood to sex workers
  3. For more than 85% of the youngsters the source of information regarding issues of sex
    workers was social media followed by movies and newspaper.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *