Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wives Outnumber Singles in Tehran Sex Trade

Tehran -- More married women are involved in sex-work in Tehran than single females, while the age of those working has come down and now ranges from 15 upwards, Iran's Sarmayeh newspaper said on Wednesday quoting academic research.

"According to recent research carried out in Tehran, the phenomenon of prostitution is being seen in married people more than single individuals," Kazem Rasoulzadeh Tabatabai, a specialist in women's studies, was quoted as saying.

The academic, who the newspaper said was presenting the result of studies on sex-work at a conference in Tehran, said that younger people have now become involved.

"The age of prostitution was over 30 in the 1980s and 1990s but now the age has fallen to 15 and above."

Rasoulzadeh Tabatabai, who heads the study group of "harmed women and girls" as well as the psychology group of Tehran's respected Tarbiat Modares university, said motivations have also changed.

"If prostitutes were only looking for the covering their basic needs in the past, now they are concerned about their secondary demands," he said.

Sex-work is strictly illegal in Iran and punishable by prison sentences and lashes. However, officials have long openly acknowledged the capital has a problem.

Typically, sex-worker in Tehran used to be young women who had moved from the provinces to the capital in search of a job or to study and entered the sex trade in order to make ends meet.

But Rasoulzadeh Tabatabai said that even this was changing.

"The phenomenon of prostitution was previously more common in migrants but now this has been spreading more among the local Tehranis. We cannot relate it to the issue of migration anymore."

The lecturer also said that more educated people have become involved in prostitution.

Another participant in the conference, titled Islam and Social Harms, underlined the importance of poverty in pushing women into sex-work.

"Some 11 percent of prostitutes in Tehran are involved in the business while their spouses are aware of it," said Hossein Ali Zahedipour, a member of the study group.

"These statistics show that there should be more attention paid to the issue of the unemployment of men as much as of women," he added.


Delightfully Imperfect said...

Very sad for the Iranian women.

Natasha said...

Question, I've been doing some research on this,

if all these men are unemployed, where are they getting the money to pay for the prostitution?

1. Are the johns Iranian men or foreigners/business?

2. How much of the percentages of Johns are from upper class strata and

3. Exactly what is the class strata in Iran? I am aware of the worker's strikes and the trafficking of poor out of Iran to other republics--but how tiered is the class system?

4. What is your opinion on the far left who assert anti-imperialism/anti-capitalism yet they are extremely misogynist and tolerant of the abuses, especially child rape and prostitution in Iran and

5. how does this effect the left/communist parties in Iran, esp women membership?

I'll come back looking forward to your answer--

I am independent far left--with no party affiliation, I stood up for women's human rights, when I was in far left party--its NOT good in the west,

they'll sell their infant daughters, no kidding--power is all they want [I'm no fan of right either]

I believe its the neo-liberals infiltration that has done so much damage in the left--that is solidifying the oppression of women in Islamic republics and I think, strongly,

that there is not enough awareness of how class and economics is a huge part of the problems.