Posts tagged brothels

Student’s Paper on “Half the Sky” book and more

The following paper was written by a first year student of mine in a Composition I class this past semester.  I was proud of how Marcus pursued this topic and read the book “Half the Sky” to help with his research.  Read on…

Escape Sex Slavery by Investing in Education

There has not been a time where prostitution in society was not present. Over generations passed, the concept of providing sexual favors for money has always stayed the same except for its variables. This is when reality becomes terrifying. Women today are experiencing being taken from their homes to be exploited for sex. Locations around the world have different experiences with sex trafficking and how it affects their society. In more of the eastern parts of Europe, the girls victimized in sex trafficking tend to be in their mid-twenties, whereas stated by Jones, et al. (2011), in most parts of Asia, they can be starting at the age of twelve. Though the ages can range from each location, the fact is that all of the girls lack an education to prevent themselves from being deceived into the prostitution rings. Although in many cases explained by Jones, et al. (2011), women had been able to earn scholarships to pursue their education, but given their societal surroundings of poverty, they are not able to do so. As an alternative to high labor jobs, women are given the hard choice of prostitution to provide for their family. Even though a few cases of prostitution may be financially beneficial for the families in impoverished countries, sex trafficking of young girls should be banned so proper investment into their education would protect their future and they would not be damaged psychologically or physically.

Many cases of human trafficking are directly caused by poverty. Especially for women victimized by poverty, are left with few options to provide them with a financial income and even smaller amount for the ones without a decent education. This is a major problem because children are not able to get a chance at education. Aside from girls having their education taken from them, they are damaged mentally and physically from prostitution. Ostrovschi, et al. (2011) provides that, “several countries in Eastern Europe, including Moldova specifically, are well-known for high numbers of women being trafficked for sex work while being frequently subjected to high levels of violence and abuse.” Not just Eastern European women are exposed to such abuse; all around the world there are different ways that their captors abuse their workers. In Europe, girls who tried to escape had dogs released on them. Many girls stated they were treated like trash and had higher chances of being killed. Combining the high threat on women’s lives already tormented by being trafficked initially, it is almost guaranteed that they will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders as well as depression and anxiety. From Ostrovschi’s, et al (2011) analysis, there are four different syndrome clusters that have affected women after their exposure to sex trafficking. “PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder); anxiety disorders excluding PTSD (panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and somatization disorder); mood disorders (depression ad dysthymia); and substance disorders (substance abuse, substance dependence, alcohol use and alcohol dependence)” (pg. 235). Many of these disorders are created over the time spent in prostitution rings and are especially enhanced when the women are exposed to a different environment. “African women are trafficked to Europe, Chinese and Vietnamese women are shipped to some Pacific islands and Mexican women are sent to the United States (Basil, 2009)”. The change in location would create language and cultural barriers, degrading the women’s identity. The loss of their identity makes it easier for the women to be taken advantage of, having no mental strength to defend themselves. Having this isolation keeps the women invisible and much harder to identify. Staying in a place where no one understands you brings little hope for when cases of escape arise.

Having a lot of psychological problems arising from sex trafficking, there are also many physical factors that come into play that effect girls. In many situations, especially in parts of Asia, young girls are damaged physically because of the age difference of the client to the employee. An example being a twelve to fifteen year old girl having to sexually please a forty year old man has explicit consequences. The picture of that situation is unbearable to most, but is a frequent occurrence that goes unnoticed. These girls can end up being damaged internals because of pre-pubic intercourse since their bodies have not fully matured. In other cases where girls have already passed this stage, run the risk of becoming pregnant. Though there is a lot of precaution with this in brothels, because they could lose a worker if one were to get pregnant minimizing profit. Having this low level of concern for their workers can bring up far more problems, such as sexually transmitted diseases. Many are familiar with HIV/AIDS and most would believe that this is the most severe case, but it is not. To surprise it is more of the less severe diseases (syphilis and hepatitis B) that we do not find as bad that usually the girls in these countries perish from. This is an oversight for us because we have the medical care that solves these problems. Unfortunately for these girls, they are not able to get the constant medical attention for these illnesses. Many women are not given the freedom to do anything except for their work, having to live like a high security prisoner sentenced to life. In some cases the girls would probably never see the light of day, constantly having to work “red light district” hours since that is their main objective. Sending aid for these women is the most logical and best choice, but there has to be more thought put into the solutions for them to actually take benefit to the victims.

(to be continued)

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View of Village Schools in Kazakhstan

An American friend has allowed me to reprint an e-mail she sent to her friends back in the U.S.  She might as well be a Peace Corps Volunteer based on the experience she describes which could be “Anywhere, Kazakhstan.”  What she witnessed is in direct contradiction to what western tourists would see if they only traveled to Almaty or Astana.  Tourist be aware!  The glitz of these Kazakh cities with their suburbs full of saunas, serve really as brothels. These seamy places house some of the young Kazakh or Kyrgyz people from rural areas who have been trafficked into the city with a promise of a better job.

If you see the poor education the Kazakh children have gotten out in the village schools, they don’t have a chance to improve their lot in life with the high unemployment in their communities.  The Ministry of Education needs to reward good, hard working teachers with much higher pay instead of punishing those who know the latest in technology and putting them out in the “sticks.”

During the Soviet Union times, Soviet teachers were given better privileges and their mission was to indoctrinate the young Kazakh students to excel in learning what Moscow dictated.  Now, as far as I know, the Kazakh government doesn’t have that in place (yet) and instead there are poorly trained, Kazakh teachers in the village schools doing the best they can with the little they have. The teachers are under paid and overworked knowing they are working with the future of their country. BUT, what is the future of Kazakhstan if the views of village schools continue as they did from the 1950s? Please read on…

“To get to the village, the road was full of potholes and there were a couple of trucks and workers that seemed to be  filling the holes.  I wondered why the heater for the hot tar was being fuelled with old rubber tires.  Then as I looked out over the vast expanse of the steppes, I realized that there was not a tree in sight.

The village has about 5,000 people but only two restaurants.  The buildings are old and there is much evidence of Soviet times with old concrete structures that have been stripped and are only a standing shell.  Fences  and farm equipment are rusted out and most men are unemployed.  The roads are dried, rutted mud and difficult to maneuver.

Once we reached the school, I climbed three flights of stairs to teach English to about thirteen  8-15 year olds.  Of course I needed to use the “toilet”.  It was a large open room with knee to ceiling windows at one end.  There were four toilets or I should say “squatty pottys”.  Here you must step up about 8 inches and then straddle an oval hole with a drain in it.  Two of the 4 were covered with yellow tape so they must have been out of order.  One of the toilets flushed, the other one must be flushed with a bucket of water that the cleaning lady has to get from the pump outside the back of the school.

The  school is old but clean.  The floors are wooden planks that are uneven and have been painted over for many years.  The walls are freshly painted over years of cement repairs so they are uneven and crude looking.  The windows are hip to ceiling and open to the right or left. The wood has been painted as many times as the floor and it is rough and unsightly though they would hardly notice as they know nothing different.

Old green chalkboards are on one wall, there is no clock or decorations, just some plants on the windowsil.  One student took a piece of chalk from her backpack and let me use it as there was none in the room.  The board is erased with a wet rag.  The next day I had only a piece of chalk the size of a small  pea but made it last the whole lesson.

None of the children knew the parts of the body so that was my project for the 3 days I was there.  We did body bingo and I gave them a sticker or a napkin with a $100 imprinted on it.  They were thrilled and out of
control playing games.  Once an administrater checked the class, surely wondering what all the noise was about.

After an hour and half lesson we drove to one of the cafe’s where there were two choices on the menu (rice with meat, carrots and onions or noodles with meat, carrots and onions), The other cafe sells only dumplings.   At 1:00 the second class started at another school.  Here the students wear uniforms, stood beside their chairs when I entered the room and likewise stood to answer my questions.  They were polite and controlled, the complete opposite of the first class.  These children also didn’t know the parts of the body in English so it was easy to play games again and give prizes they cherished.

The same green chalkboard, uneven walls, heavily painted window frames and floors graced the place. As I was again looking for chalk, one young girl gave me a small bag full of white rocks which were used as chalk.  The second day she had a real piece of chalk for me.

I asked these children what their hobbies were and many said they played the dombre, a national Kazakh instrument much like a guitar.  Two boys took crude wooden boxes with some strings with them and I was aware that their dombres were homemade out of wood scraps.

All of the children seemed to live with parents and grandparents and siblings in one dwelling.  I kept thinking what a shock it would be for them to visit my town or my country.  Their lives are so simple and uncluttered. They don’t have after school dance and sports.  They go home to help the family survive.  Their lifestyle is a good example to me  of being content with whatever they have.  We Americans always want MORE and still aren’t satisfied.

Sometimes I struggle with having so much and then watching these children enjoy their lives without the toys and games we think we need.  How warped is our perspective and how shallow is our contentment.  What a privilege it is to witness another side of life…”

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