TalkAboutSexxx.com

Sex and sexuality news and information forum

 forum - business directory - image gallery

It is currently Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:55 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:41 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Bangladesh on hunt for 'wholesome' actors: official
June 17, 2008

Image

Bangladesh authorities are on the hunt for a new breed of clean actors because a government crackdown on lewd movies has created a shortage of acting talent in the country, an official said Tuesday.

The state-run Film Development Corporation (FDC) has launched the three-month search for 10 pairs of lead actors and actresses, to be known as "super heroes and heroines", its chief A.N.M. Badrul Amin told AFP.

"We have launched the search because most of the top actors and actresses who have made names in acting in obscene films have either gone into hiding or are no longer being cast by directors," Amin said.

The Dhaka-based film industry -- popularly known as Dhaliwood -- produces about 100 low-budget movies a year, but an increase in violent scenes and dirty dancing forced authorities to clamp down on film content two years ago.

The country's army-backed emergency government, which came into power in January 2007, stepped up the pressure by ordering a military-led taskforce to seek out studios responsible for the "immoral" films and ban them from the industry.

Many leading actors and a slew of directors and producers have been warned about churning out films where dancing by scantily clad women and fights eat up most of the plot lines.

Amin said that as a result of the crackdown, directors and theatre-owners were looking for fresh faces to star in family dramas.

The FDC has called on a private television channel and talent agency to find the best actors and then train them to a standard where they will star in feature films.

Earlier this year, top actor "Dipjol" -- who became a household name for playing villains but was accused by many for introducing pornography to cinemas -- was sentenced in absentia to seven years in jail by an emergency court for weapons possession.

Bangladesh, a conservative Muslim nation of 144 million people, has a history of targeting its thespians.

An Islamist-allied government in 2004 launched a crackdown on what it described as "obscene" films seen as failing to reflect Bangladeshi culture and society.

It also amended the nation's film censorship act in 2006 so that filmmakers can be jailed for up to three years if their movies are judged to contain "obscene, nude or vulgar" scenes.

Politicians have accused filmmakers of suffocating Bangladesh's rich cinematic tradition under an avalanche of sleaze.

Amin said a similar search for actors in the late 1980s had been a great success.

"Some of them have dominated the industry since then," he said.

Source: Breitbart AFP.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:29 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 8390
Location: Planet Earth (sometimes)
Inmate sex shames jail chiefs
19 August 2008

Dhaka (AFP) - Bangladeshi jail officials say they are embarrassed that a male prisoner has managed to impregnate a female inmate after the pair bribed guards to let them have sex in a court building.

Deputy prisons chief Shamsul Haider Siddiqui told AFP the unnamed man, who is married to two other women, bribed police and jail clerks during a court appearance six months ago to arrange the conjugal visit in a room in the lower court.

The 28-year-woman, who appeared on an abduction charge, is now pregnant with his child, Siddiqui said.

"She is now six months' pregnant and we don't know what to do about it. It's a real embarrassment. We've never encountered such a problem before."

He said the woman, also married to someone else with whom she has one son, fell in love with the man when they met during a series of court appearances that coincided.

Male and female prisoners are held in separate wings in Bangladesh's 66 jails. Siddiqui said that normally it would be virtually impossible for a male inmate to meet a female one.

In conservative Muslim Bangladesh, having a child out of wedlock is a punishable offence.

Siddiqui said authorities charged the 35-year-old man - who has served two years of a 13-year sentence for illegal weapons charges and faces other charges - over the incident, although that could be dropped.

"It now appears that they had consensual sex, although the woman is already married to another man," Siddiqui said, adding that prison officials were trying to come up with a solution.

"Some have suggested that the two get married in prison, but we are not their parents, he said.

A woman cannot be married to more than one man in Bangladesh, but polygamy is permitted for men if their first wife agrees. Siddiqui said the man hopes to make the woman his third wife.

Source: News 24.

_________________
Utterly totally and completely brilliantly wunderbar
Cutiepie Snoozikin Scrupelshrumpilstilskin's "major pain in the butt"
Sex. Enjoy it. Talk about it. Share the experience. Learn from others.


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:00 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Independent Appeal: Sex workers dicing with death in Bangladesh

Charities must overcome the disapproval of a conservative society to teach prostitutes about safe sex

By Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Image
Ajij works as a male prostitute in Bogra, Bangladesh

Ajij lives a double life — half in public, half in the shadows. During the day he works as a helper in a restaurant kitchen. In the evening, the slightly-built 25-year-old has sex with men for money in one of Bogra's many cheap hotels.

His customers are students, rickshaw drivers, police and soldiers — everyday people. Away from prying eyes, they pay anywhere between 10p and a pound, depending on what they want from the young man. Afterwards they quietly leave and return to their other lives.

"At the weekend I have a long line of police and soldiers," says Ajij, who says he has up to 25 clients a week. "Some are married, some are unmarried. We don't question them."

Bangladesh's male prostitutes operate on the edge of this conservative Muslim society. Commonplace but little discussed, they are vulnerable to harassment, extortion and violence. They are vulnerable, too, to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.

Ajij's double life could hardly be more complete. Having started selling sex when he was just 10 years old, he married at the age of 18 under pressure from his family. His wife and five-year-old daughter live in a village outside the city, unaware of his real existence. Meanwhile, he lives and works in Bogra, where he also has a male partner. That relationship, he stresses, is about love, not money.

"When I got married there was a lot of social pressure. I did not know I was homosexual until after I got married," he says. "In Bangladesh, the life of a homosexual is very secret ... There is restriction from society but the [male sex trade] is growing."

The potential dangers from this secretive trade are obvious. But educating sex workers about safe sex and the use of condoms is not as straightforward as it perhaps should be. NGOs and charities working in the field are constantly having to fight disapproval from certain sectors of Bangladeshi society, notably religious conservatives. What a charity might consider health awareness and education can be just as easily be seen by critics as promotion of an irreligious lifestyle.

There have been instances where outreach workers have been harassed by local police and government officials. Sometimes maintaining a low profile is the most effective option. Sometimes, however, the staff battle to persuade their critics of the value of what they are doing.

"I think it is still secret. We are working with an area of the community that is very vulnerable," says Muradujjaman, the health manager of a drop-in centre in Bogra run by the charity Light House. "It's very challenging work to try to reduce their risk level. Sometimes the people we are working with are not very educated."

Light House, a Bangladeshi-based partner of Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) — one of the charities for which money is being raised by The Independent Christmas Appeal — has for the past 10 years been running health education programmes for both male and female sex workers in Bogra. Around 500 men are on its books.

Kathy Peach is one of the British VSO volunteers who have worked with Light House. Before volunteering she had worked in advertising and with the Department for International Development. Once in Bangladesh she brought her professional skills to bear on the sex workers' problems — and those of Light House's outreach workers who were also afraid.

Image
Ekalas works as a male prostitute in Bogra, Bangladesh

"It's a tough, often thankless job with huge stigma attached to it," she says of the work done by the outreach staff on the streets of Bogra. "I was impressed by the resilience, courage and dedication of all the outreach workers I met." But the workers were regularly being attacked by members of the local law enforcement agencies — or else subjected to extortion. "The result was that many outreach workers were scared to do their jobs and it was becoming harder to get condoms ... to the sex workers who had gone into hiding."

Using her advocacy skills she devised a strategy through which the workers were able to build bridges with the community. She arranged meetings with the police and army in which the Light House staff were able to convince them of the vital need of the organisation's work. Since then the harassment has fallen off significantly.

All the same, 22-year-old Ekalas still keeps a low profile. This shy young man works at a tailor's shop, but as evening descends on this dusty city of a million people, men will come to the shop in search of more than needlework. "Most of my clients I know," says Ekalas. "If it is someone new they will come to the shop and ask for me by name, so I know."

Having started in the sex trade when he was 17, Ekalas estimates he has around seven or eight customers a week. He says he earns up to £3 a time. He has four brothers and five sisters and he says none of them know that he works as a male prostitute. Since coming to the regular sessions organised by Light House, he says he has been persuaded of the importance of condoms and tries to demand that his clients use them.

"There are huge numbers of male sex workers in Bogra. They range in age from 13 to 67," says Ekalas. But it is dangerous work. The young men say that after sex, customers often refuse to pay the agreed price. And there is always the hovering threat of violence; on one occasion Ajij went with a customer to a construction site where he discovered there was a group of men waiting for them. He was forced to jump from the third floor of a partly constructed house in order to escape being gang-raped.

As for the future, Ekalas says he would like to get out of prostitution. But, as he explains, the key factor is economics. His boss at the shop pays him only a quarter of what their customers pay for the shirts that Ekalas makes. Sex is a much more lucrative option. At least with the help of Light House he is a little safer in that perilous profession, and considerably less likely to assist with the spread of the Aids epidemic. It is progress, of a kind.

Source: The Independent UK.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:28 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Gay, straight or MSM?

In Bangladesh, how you define your sexuality can depend on class, education and family circumstances

by Delwar Hussain
Thursday 6 August 2009

There are many in Bangladesh who inhabit a grey area that is neither public nor private, where things that are illegal or socially and religiously taboo are permissible so long as they are not discussed openly. Drinking alcohol, falling in love and disbelieving in God are areas where people rarely disclose their thoughts or activities except in like-minded circles.

Living in such a way protects them from conservative elements of society and allows them to maintain cordial relationships with family and friends. Suleman, an imam at one of the largest mosques in Dhaka, lives with this kind of contradiction every day. None of his family or colleagues suspect anything about his relationship with his male partner, who is publicly acknowledged as "just a friend". This is not so difficult to comprehend. A few years ago Suleman married a woman. Having fulfilled his social and religious obligations in both public and private matters (they have two children together), he is free to continue his relationship with his "friend".

Suleman is well aware of the consequences if knowledge of his "friend" became public. He could be thrown out of the mosque or physically punished; there are many who think a man loving another man is among the worst sins a person can commit. Suleman himself believes it is very important that gay Muslims be allowed to marry, as a way to avoid promiscuity. Called upon by gay friends to bless their relationships, he performs readings from the Qur'an and prayers at such ceremonies.

In this regard Bangladesh is hardly any different from other conservative societies around the world, but new ideas are cautiously surfacing. The Bandhu ("friend") organisation provides healthcare and support for men who have sex with men. It says that 7%-15% of Bangladeshi men over the age of 15 (that is between 2.5 million and 5.25 million people) have sex with another man at least once a month (most will do so while they are single and stop once they get married).

Saleh Ahmed, who runs Bandhu, stresses that the people it works with are not "gay" but fall within the looser category of "men who have sex with men" (MSMs). According to Ahmed, there are two main differences between the categories: MSMs have sex just for "fun" or "physical release", without the emotional and identity implications of a gay relationship. The second difference between being gay and MSMs is that of class. MSMs generally have low-paid, menial jobs. Gay men come from a middle and upper class background; they tap into a wider, global gay identity and its trappings.

MSMs have very few choices in life, hemmed in as they are by poverty, social exclusion and threats from STIs including HIV/AIDS. This is exacerbated by marginalisation at the hands of their wealthier brethren, and has even spawned terms such as "LS" (low status) to refer to working class gay men and "HS" (high society) to indicate the more affluent.

Although Bangladesh's anti-sodomy law (section 377 of criminal code) seems to have fallen into disuse, the police regularly stop, harass and even arrest working-class MSMs under other laws, according to Ahmed — so repealing Section 377 will not prevent any of this. For Ahmed, it is more important to focus on fighting for access to healthcare and educational services. Education at the grassroots levels is the key to this. Bandhu holds "sensitisation workshops" where the police, local elected bodies, journalists, doctors and lawyers are educated on the problems MSMs face. It also provides training on HIV/AIDS, and international and human rights laws.

"Our kind of work is far more crucial to the everyday lives of men who have sex with men than attempting to repeal this outdated law," Ahmed says.

While most MSMs are poorly educated, the internet has become a crucial resource for the middle and upper classes. Boys of Bangladesh (BOB) is an online group with 1,700 members who explicitly define themselves as gay. The forum allows people to make friends, meet potential partners and disseminates information and advice.

Shakhawat Hossain, the group's "moderator", is typical of the young Dhakaias that BOB appeals to: in tune with international fashions and technology, privately educated, taking foreign holidays and preferring sushi to shutki (the traditional Bengali dried fish).

BOB's aim is to develop a lifestyle first and then discuss rights and equality. Hossain says "MSM" refers just to sexual behaviour — which he finds insulting. To be gay on the other hand refers to sexual attraction, emotions, partnership and love, "far more complicated and less palatable for the orthodoxy". He wants section 377 to be repealed, since from the offset it considers gay people to be criminals.

Whatever the result of BOB's coming-out or Bandhu's efforts to stay in the grey area, this will not stem the tide of educated, middle-class gay people leaving Bangladesh. One reason for this is for simple economics. Attracted to wealth, status and a particular kind of consumer-obsessed lifestyle, middle-class gay people are no different from their heterosexual counterparts.

The other reason is the perceived freedoms western countries offer homosexuals. At the turn of the 20th century gay men from the west, writers such as William Burroughs and Tennessee Williams for example moved, ironically by today's standards, to Muslim countries where they found the atmosphere to be much more liberal towards homosexuality. Now, the movement is in the opposite direction.

The problem with this rainbow exodus is that the very group of people who are in a position to confront the issue of inequality in Bangladesh, to bring about change by using their influence, are the ones leaving.

I ask one gay man leaving for Australia whether he is willing to publicly declare his boyfriend in Bangladesh. His answer is frank. "I'd die if my parents and friends knew I was gay. Not because they'd kill me, but because of shame. I'm leaving so that I can do what I want without anyone here knowing about it."

Source: Guardian UK.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:12 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
A new danger for sex workers in Bangladesh

The prostitutes in Bangladeshi brothels are often underage and unpaid — and now, many of them are hooked on steroids that are damaging to their health

by Joanna Moorhead
Monday 5 April 2010



I'm walking along a brightly painted corridor when a couple of young girls catch first my eye, and then my arm. They smile at me, and giggle; they look about the same ages as my elder daughters, 17 and 15. Just like my daughters, these girls have taken a lot of time over their makeup and their clothes: and they look beautiful. In their faces I see the same fun and youthful optimism that I see every day in my own house.

But there the comparisons end. Because I am in Faridpur in central Bangladesh, on the banks of the Padma river; and these girls are sex workers.

Each day they must have intercourse with four or five different men, for the price of around 100 taka, or £1, a time. And for most of the girls here, there is no monetary gain whatsoever: because most of the inmates (and it is, in many ways, like a prison) at Faridpur brothel are chhukri, or bonded sex workers, sold by their families to a madam in return for two or three years in which she, the brothel-owner, can pocket all their earnings.

It is a terrible, filthy, overcrowded place, this Faridpur brothel. To reach it you walk through a series of dusty, narrow alleys, uneven underfoot; past endless booths selling dusty bottles of soft drinks and past-their-sell-by-date packets of crisps; past skinny goats and even skinnier, rag-clad people. There is a ripple of excitement as you pass, because westerners are unusual in Faridpur.

And then, ducking under a couple of greying rags that serve as makeshift curtains, you turn into a new alley; and then to a doorway with several men hanging around, and two or three cigarette-sellers at the entrance (they sell cigarettes singly here; the men like a post-coital smoke).

The brothel is huge: 800 girls live in the fortress-like building, with its dark and narrow, but gaudily painted, corridors. There are many doors, and behind each one is a tiny room with a barred window, and just enough space for a rag-strewn double bed where the girls take their customers. The girls sleep two to a room; when one arrives with a client, the other simply makes herself scarce. Many of the customers are migrant workers, who are employed in the numerous brick-making factories in the area; other clients are truck drivers, since Faridpur is on an important trading route, and the ferries bringing lorries from Dhaka dock nearby. What is strange is that using prostitutes seems to be tolerated in this Muslim country: when I ask our Bangladeshi interpreter about this, he points out that the brothels were established under British rule, during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The sound, the sight and even the smell of sex is everywhere in the brothel. A young couple duck into a room, closing the door tightly behind them; an older man emerges from another door further along the corridor, his face beaded with sweat. In the corners there are mounds of used condoms.

And it is on one of these corridors that I meet the girls who remind me so much of my own girls. I try to start a conversation, but we don't speak the same language. And then I see another, even more shocking, sight: a third girl who appears no older than my third daughter — who's not even 12. The photographer arrives, and he speaks Bangla. "Ask her how old she is," I say. The photographer, hearing her answer, shakes his head. "She says 22." And then we all laugh, because it seems the only thing to do. I look again at the girl, and I notice her budding breasts and her impish smile, both so like my daughter's.

That girls this young are condemned to a life of sexual slavery anywhere in 2010 is bad enough; that it has to be in an overcrowded hellhole such as this, with a stench so bad it is hard not to gag, is unbelievable. These days there is also a new horror, one that could snuff out the chance of a future for these girls. The horror is a drug called Oradexon; a drug identical to one used to fatten cattle. A drug that is now being used routinely in brothels throughout Bangladesh, by madams desperate to make the girls in their employ seem older and more attractive to clients. It has the added bonus of making them less likely to attract the attention of the police — sex workers here must be 18 or over, though the Faridpur brothel is clearly full of girls who are not.

Image
Asha works in Faridpur brothel as a sex worker. She is 19 years old. Photograph: GMB Akash/Panos/ActionAid

No one is quite sure how long Oradexon has been a feature of life in the brothels, but it has been a while; long enough for the sardarni, or brothel caretakers, to have found out that there can be long-term health implications, and to have chosen to ignore them.

According to the charity ActionAid, which has just published a report into the use of Oradexon among Bangladeshi sex workers, the drug is most commonly taken by girls and women aged between 15 and 35. "It's cheap and it's easily available," says Luftun Nahar, who works in the organisation's Dhaka office, and helped compile the report.

Nahar was one of the first people to realise that the drug was being widely used. "I remember thinking, there are all these bulky girls here — how did they get like that?" she says. "And then I asked around and someone told me they were all taking a drug called Oradexon, which is the same preparation used for cows on farms, to make them fatter."

The drug, says Nahar, is a godsend to the madams and brothel-owners. It means the pimps are able to get girls who are as young as 12 or 13 — many of them have been trafficked, and have nowhere else to go — and make them look much older.

"The pimps supply the drug, which is very cheaply available. And then they are even more powerful in the girls' lives, because the girls are hostages — they need to go on taking the drug, because if they come off it they get all these side-effects: bad headaches, stomach pains, no appetite, skin rashes. With those effects, of course, they can't work — and they can't stop working or they'll have no food, and nowhere to live."

ActionAid's campaign against the drug is directed at users, because stopping the supply chain would simply be too difficult. The campaign to educate the girls about the importance of condoms to stop HIV infection is held up as a model that worked, on the whole. But no one thinks this will be an easy battle, because for the madams there are clear advantages in having workers on Oradexon — dissuading them from getting their girls to use the drug will be tough.

Dr Bashirul Islam, head of healthcare services in Faridpur, is working with ActionAid. He says Oradexon can be extremely dangerous for healthy young women. "It's a life-saving drug for very serious problems [the drug is also a steroid hormone, used to treat inflammatory disorders]. Taken by these girls, it impairs the kidneys, increases the blood pressure and interferes with normal hormone production. It also causes widespread oedema, or swelling, throughout the body. There are also severe problems with coming off the drug, because it's highly addictive. So if the girls stop taking it, they need a lot of help — they get bad stomach aches, they are sick, they get headaches."

As to where it comes from, Oradexon is easily available from the quacks, or unqualified pharmacists who operate widely throughout Bangladesh, says Islam. "There should be better regulation to stop them selling the drug, but there is not," he says.
Asha works in Faridpur brothel Asha works in Faridpur brothel as a sex worker. She is 19 years old. Photograph: GMB Akash/Panos/ActionAid

Asha, 19, is one of the many girls who use the drug. She says she doesn't have another name — "I'm just Asha — it means 'hope'" — and she has been in the brothel for two years. She is keen to tell me that she came here alone, that she wasn't coerced into this life — but I've already been warned that all the girls here will tell that same story, because they've been told by their madams not to say anything to blame their families or their employers.

Many of the girls here have been sold by a stepmother or even their own mothers — and some are second-generation sex workers, born to a prostitute and an unknown client. "I started taking the cow drug a year ago, and I take two tablets a day," she says. Like the other girls, she is given Oradexon by her madam — some of the girls say they have tried refusing, but have been told they must take it, to make them look "fairer". Asha thinks it makes her look healthier. "The customers like us to look healthy. I got a little plumper when I started taking the drug." The existence she describes is a miserable one. "How can I be happy here? God knows — there is no happiness here," she says. "Because I have been here for a long time I am allowed to go out a bit, but some of the girls don't go out at all."

Unsurprisingly — and despite her name — Asha isn't very hopeful for her own future. "I don't think I'll ever get married or have children," she says. "No one will marry me. If they did they'd only keep me for two or three days, and then they'd sell me back." She is more streetwise than some of the other girls here, many of whom share a tragic dream that one day a knight in shining armour will arrive, to carry them off; then they will marry him, have his babies and love him for ever. (Some of the girls here have thought they had found their knight; the many babies, conceived by girls who allowed men they thought would marry them in order to have condom-free sex, bear witness to that.)

But though she's realistic about her future, Asha has that irrepressible optimism of the very young — and because she has only been on the drug for a year, her body doesn't yet look too swollen by it. Juaina Begum is very different. She has been taking Oradexon for five years, and though she says she was thin once, she is heavy and swollen now. "I got fat quickly," she says, pulling back her scarf to reveal shoulders heavy with oedema. Her midriff and legs are swollen too — she moves around slowly and deliberately.

Like so many of the poorest people in Bangladesh, she's unsure of her actual age — but she looks in her early to mid-30s. In brothel terms, that's over the hill — and Juaina knows it. "I have two or three customers a day," she says. "But it always depends on how beautiful they think you are." She worries, she says, about what will happen when she loses what she describes as her "fairness". "I don't know how I'll survive then," she says.

Juaina thinks Oradexon keeps her looking good, which is why she's going to go on taking it. "If you work in this brothel, you have to take this medicine. Everyone does. If you take the medicine you will look healthy and otherwise you will look ugly. Also, my body is used to the medicine now. If I take it, I'm OK. If I don't take it, I feel bad — and then I can't work. So stopping it isn't possible."

Juaina says she has been a sex worker for many years — she's not sure exactly how many. For a while, she says, her fortunes changed — she fell in love and left the brothel to live with a man. "When I came back here I didn't want to take the medicine, but my madam pushed me. She said I had to.

"But now my life is such that I take the drug willingly. I've stopped dreaming of another kind of life. What I really want to do is die — I pray for God to take me. I'd have liked to have had my own family, my own children. No one in the world loves me — I don't even have any friends here."

Juaina's big, sad eyes have been brimming with tears, and now they begin to fall: she wipes her face with her bright yellow scarf. Then she takes me to look around the space she calls home: a tiny room on the corner of a fly-infested alley, on the outskirts of the brothel building itself.

The room has no windows: when she closes the door, apart from a candle, it is totally dark. There is hardly room to stand up: just a rickety table, a bed, a few piles of clothes stuffed on to a shelf and a couple of pots and pans, which she takes outside when she wants to cook some rice. It is no life at all, and Juaina — a woman who carries herself with dignity, and who talks with the honesty of one who has no need to lie — knows it.

The tragedy is that today's Ashas are tomorrow's Juainas, and there are thousands upon thousands of women, both old and young, at brothels across Bangladesh. On the outskirts of Faridpur, on the River Padma, is a smaller brothel of around 175 women. After the dinginess of the town brothel, the sunny huts of this operation seem a much more pleasant working environment for the teenage girls — but the toll, in human terms, is every bit as desperate. I spend my last morning in Bangladesh here, much of it with Payel, who is 15 and has been taking Oradexon for several months.

Payel says she's never been to school; she is a second-generation sex worker, the daughter of a prostitute. She has been working since the age of 12, and she arrived yesterday from another brothel. "I think I'm going to like it here," she says. "The air is fresher than in town." Yesterday was market day, she says, and she had 10 customers. She wants to know more about my teenage daughters. What do they look like? What's it like growing up in London?

When it's time to go, she walks with me to the car, holding my hand to guide me across the cobbles. I'm touched by how gentle and sweet-natured she is; but when we get to the car, and I turn to say goodbye, she is nowhere to be seen. "Are you looking for Payel?" asks the interpreter. "She had to go."

I look up the path, and I see the back of this lovely young girl and a man walking beside her, who is almost certainly a truck driver from the ferry that has just docked. As I watch her, Payel turns, smiles and shrugs her shoulders in a gesture that seems to say, "This is how it is for me." And then she turns back to her client, and they head together towards the brothel.

• To find out more about ActionAid's women's rights work go to http://www.actionaid.org.uk/womensrights

Source: Guardian UK.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:59 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Bangladesh sex workers plump up on cow steroids
7 July 2010

Image
A Bangladeshi prostitute clutches packets of Oradexon or similar steroid tablets in a government-registered brothel in Faridpur, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) outside Dhaka.

FARIDPUR, Bangladesh (AFP) - Whenever Bangladeshi brothel owner Rokeya, 50, signs up a new sex worker she gives them a course of steroid drugs often used to fatten cattle.

For older sex workers, tablets work well, said Rokeya, but for younger girls of 12 to 14 -- who are normally sold to the brothel by their families -- injections are more effective. "It's the quickest way to make a girl plump and hide her actual age if she is just a teenager," Rokeya said, adding that the drug, called Oradexon, is cheap and widely available.

An estimated 200,000 women and teenage girls work in Bangladesh's sex industry and as many as 90 percent of them may be addicted to Oradexon or similar steroids, according to British charity ActionAid. Doctors say long-term use can be fatal but at the vast, government-registered brothel 100 kilometres (60 miles) outside Dhaka, most of the 900 sex workers use Oradexon daily to give them plump, full bodies.

When sex worker Shahinur Begum first arrived at Faridpur, divorced and bankrupt with a daughter to support, she worried about being too thin to attract clients. "Oradexon gave me a full body, making me attractive," she said, adding that her brothel madam first gave her the drug to help her gain weight but she was soon hooked on it.

"I'm swollen like a balloon and have hypertension. The doctors have told me to stop taking it but I can't," Shahinur, 30, who earns about 150 dollars a month, told AFP.

The drug is so common it is sold in tea-shops in the brothel, with a pack of ten costing just a few cents -- less than the price of a cup of tea.

As Hindi music blares from loudspeakers and her neighbours quarrel over poached clients and discarded condoms, Shahinur said she worries the drug will eventually kill her. "My friend used to take Oradexon every day and now the doctors say she's dying," she said, frying up spicy fish on a stove in her one-room tin shack deep inside the warren of lanes that make up the brothel.

Image

"I find it hard to move my body now, it is so bloated -- I don't want to be like my friend. When I came here seven years back, I was so skinny and I hardly had any clients," she explained. "I desperately needed money to send to my daughter and mother. My madam gave me the 'cow drug' twice a day and soon enough I looked healthy and beautiful. I now get up to six clients a day."

Prostitution in Bangladesh is legal in the small number of officially recognised brothels, and the sprawling site discretely hidden behind a row of shops in Faridpur has been in operation for more than 100 years. Laws say sex workers must be over 18 years old -- but many are clearly underage, and ActionAid research says steroid use is most prevalent among the teenagers.

Bangladesh's bonded sex industry -- where sex workers are "owned" by brothel madams and have to repay their purchase cost -- makes stamping out the drug hard as sex workers themselves want to use it. "The drug is a sex worker's only ticket to early freedom as it makes her attractive and helps her to get as many clients as possible," said Rokeya, herself a former sex worker.

In 2004, the sudden, unexplained deaths of four young girls who regularly took Oradexon caused panic in Bangladesh's brothels. ActionAid were then asked by a sex workers' campaign group to look into the use of the steroid. "The deaths opened a lid on one of the worst-kept secrets in our sex industry," Zahid Hossain Shuvo, an ActionAid researcher who was part of a two-year study on the use of drug in Faridpur brothel. "The girls come in poor and thin at the brothel and need a quick-fix for their malnourished bodies if they want to attract clients. They say Oradexon works like magic potion," he said.

The steroid is used to fatten cattle ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid, when millions of animals are slaughtered, and also to treat humans for arthritis, thyroid, intestinal problems and allergies. But it has serious side effects if taken incorrectly.

"It is very, very dangerous if you use it for more than two to three months. Most sex workers at Faridpur have been using the drug for years, and now many are paying the price," said government doctor Kamal Uddin Ahmed. Ahmed, who has treated many sex workers at Faridpur general hospital where he is based, said the steroid use is linked to heart disease, obesity, kidney failure and osteoporosis. Giving it up is difficult as the withdrawal symptoms include headaches and skin rashes.

Although Bangladesh technically bars the sale of steroids without a doctor's prescription, in practice this is rarely enforced. With the steroid easily available, addictive, and good for business, it is unlikely Bangladesh's sex workers will be kicking the habit soon.

"I know how bad the drug is for me and my health. But trying to stop it is worse," said Shahinur. "If I get ill from it and can't work, who will look after my ten-year-old daughter?"

Source: Yahoo! / AFP.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:05 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Bangladesh disabled children sexually abused
7 July 2010

Image

DHAKA (AFP) - Half of all disabled children in impoverished Bangladesh have been sexually abused, often by close family relatives, according to a new study.

Some 52 percent of girls and 48 percent of boys aged between seven and 18 years have been abused, molested or raped, said the report by a Bangladeshi state-run foundation for the disabled and Save the Children.

"The majority of the attackers are male and some 40 percent of the offenders are family members, which shows how vulnerable our disabled children are," said Selina Ahmed of Save the Children. "This is the first study carried out in Bangladesh on sexual abuse of disabled children and we have been shocked by the findings," she told AFP on Wednesday.

The study was conducted on 216 children and 535 adults with hearing, vision, physical and mental disabilities. Researchers also interviewed family members, teachers and charity workers. According to the study, children with mental problems face more harassment than other disabled children because they often cannot distinguish between sexual abuse and normal physical contact.

Ahmed said almost all the sex abuse goes unpunished due to Bangladesh's "ingrained negative attitude" towards disabled people. "Families simply ignore their disabled children's complaints. Parents tend to neglect these sorts of crimes," she said, adding teachers were also found to be among the offenders.

Another study conducted by leading charity Manusher Jonno Foundation found that 26 percent of the disabled beggars seeking alms on the roads in the capital Dhaka were forced by their families to take up the practice. "They are sent to the streets to do begging when they are relatively young, mostly when they were children," said Mahbub Alam of the foundation.

According to the study carried out on the homes of 100 disabled beggars, family members pocket the money earned through begging. "These families treat the disabled beggars as cash cows," he said.

Source: Yahoo! / AFP.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:19 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Bangladesh girl bled to death after lashing say doctors
9 February 2011

Image
Hena Begum took six days to die

A Bangladeshi girl who was publicly whipped for an alleged affair with a married man bled to death, according to a fresh post-mortem examination.

Doctors in Dhaka found multiple injuries on the body of Hena Begum, the deputy attorney general told the BBC. The High Court ordered her body to be exhumed and taken to the capital after a local autopsy recorded no injuries. Miss Begum died in hospital six days after last month's beating, which has caused shock in Bangladesh and abroad.

Police have opened a murder investigation. The doctors who carried out the initial investigation have been summoned to explain their findings in the High Court on Thursday. The second post-mortem examination was carried out by a team of doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. "Multiple injuries were found. The girl died because of bleeding," deputy attorney general Altaf Hossain told the BBC Bengali service.

Cousin arrested

Hena Begum, also called Hena Akter, was buried on 31 January. She was 14. A week earlier, she had received about 80 lashes in her village of Chamta in Shariatpur district, about 90km (56 miles) from Dhaka. A village court consisting of elders and clerics had accused her of having an affair with a fellow villager and cousin, Mahbub Khan. Her family say she was innocent of the accusations.

Mr Khan was also found guilty - of rape - by the village council and sentenced to be lashed, but he managed to escape during his punishment. Police have named him as the main accused in the case. They said on Wednesday he had been arrested near Dhaka. Correspondents say he could face rape or even murder charges if the courts find that his actions ultimately led to his cousin's death.

Four others including a Muslim cleric have also been arrested in connection with the death. The High Court stepped in following local media reports that there had been a deliberate attempt to cover up the case in Shariatpur.

This is the second reported case of a fatality linked to a Sharia law punishment since the practice was outlawed last year by the High Court. In December a woman of 40 died in Rajshahi district after being publicly caned for an alleged affair with her stepson.

Source: BBC News.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:31 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Bangladesh's "teenage" brothels hold dark steroid secret
By Andrew Biraj
19 March 2012

Image
Seventeen-year-old prostitute Hashi, embraces Babu, her 'husband', inside her small room at Kandapara brothel in Tangail, a northeastern city of Bangladesh, March 4, 2012. REUTERS-Andrew Biraj

(Reuters) - Their faces painted heavy with make-up, teenage girls in short, tight blouses and long petticoats loiter in squalid alleys, laughing and gesturing to potential clients who roam Tangail town's infamous red light area in the early evening.

There is no shortage of men looking for "company" in Kandapara slum, a labyrinth of tiny lanes - lined cheek-by-jowl with corrugated iron shacks - a few hours drive northeast of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka. But with rates as low as 50 taka (60 U.S. cents), the need to attract as many customers as possible is desperate - prompting a rising, yet dangerous, trend of steroid abuse among adolescent sex workers to "enhance" their appearance.

"There is a huge difference between my appearance now and the malnourished look of my childhood," says Hashi, 17, who was lured into the sex trade by a trafficker when she was 10 and sold to Kandapara's brothel, where she began taking steroids. "I am healthier than before and fit to serve a lot of customers in a day. Sometimes up to 15," she says, placing a large black bindi, or dot used by Hindu women, between her perfectly shaped eyebrows.

She sits in her tiny room with a bed, a cooking stove and posters of Bollywood stars taped across the wall. Hashi is one of around 900 sex workers - some as young as 12 - living a painful life of exploitation in Kandapara, not only bonded by debt and fear of stigma, but compelled to take the steroid, Oradexon, which brings more income but leaves dangerous side effects.

Image
Seventeen-year-old prostitute Hashi shows Oradexon, a steroid, at Kandapara brothel in Tangail, a northeastern city of Bangladesh, March 5, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

COW FATTENING DRUG

Also known as Dexamethasone, Oradexon treats inflammation and allergies in humans and is used by farmers to fatten livestock.

Charities say the over-the-counter drug is taken by 90 percent of sex workers in Kandapara and the other 14 legalized brothels across this impoverished South Asian nation. The girls are first forced to take it by their madams, or "sardarnis", who run the brothels. It increases their appetite, making them gain weight rapidly and giving the appearance that these poorly nourished teens are in fact healthy and older - attracting clients who prefer girls with "curves". It also helps sardarnis keep the police away. The legal age for sex work in Bangladesh is 18.

The girls then continue to consume it, saying that it keeps them "strong and healthy", which in turn will help them get more clients in a day so they can earn enough to survive. "My sardarni forced me to take a tablet. She beat me up and stopped giving food. She threatened me and reminded me about my loans," says Hashi, who has a four-year-old son staying with relatives, whom she has not seen for two years. "In this brothel, customers always look for healthy girls. I take Oradexon. I need customers so I can pay my bills and loans. If I don't get any customers one day, I cannot eat in the next day. I wish to save some money for my son."

Image
Sixteen-year-old prostitute Maya stands in the doorway of her small room at Kandapara brothel in Tangail, a northeastern city of Bangladesh, March 5, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

The story is the same with most of Kandapara's teenage sex workers, or "chukris". Sold for as little as 20,000 taka ($245) by their poor, rural families to traffickers, they are then traded on to brothel sardarnis, who are former prostitutes themselves and keep the teenagers in bonded sex work. The girls speak of being with up to 15 men in one day, but say their earnings are pocketed by their sardarnis, who tell them they have to work to pay off the money paid for them. Many girls have been in Kandapara's brothel for years, yet due to their illiteracy, they have no idea whether their debts have been cleared and what their rights are.

Others, who have been left by their sardarnis because they are too old or not-profitable, are in principle free to leave but choose not to, fearful of the social exclusion they will face in the conservative, Muslim society outside of Kandapara.

Image
A prostitute stands in front of a makeshift brothel by the river Padma in Faridpur, located in central Bangladesh February 23, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

BATTLE WITH BROTHELS

Oradexon, they say, keeps them going, even though there are known risks associated with its long-term use. The steroid can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, skin rashes and headaches and is highly addictive, according to social activists. It also weakens the immune system and leaves patients more susceptible to illnesses. There have been reports of young sex workers dying from over-use of the drug. The small white pill is easily available in Kandapara's slums. It is sold without prescription for 15 taka (18 U.S. cents) for a strip of 10 at the tea and cigarette stalls blaring Bangladeshi pop music that populate a maze of open-sewer lanes.

"Steroids are life-saving as well as life-destroying drugs which are used by sex workers in poor countries," said Shipra Gowshami, a lawyer and human rights activist who works with sex workers in brothels in the central Bangladeshi town of Faridpur. "A lack of awareness, easy availability and malpractices of quacks are some of the prime causes of why these drugs are being abused," Gowshami said.

In 2010, ActionAid Bangladesh began a campaign to promote awareness of the drug among sex workers. But they say they are facing a long fight in persuading not only the brothels to stop using it but also authorities to regulate it. "There have been attempts to raise awareness on the negative impact of the use of such medicine but brothel owners, madams and pimps are a long way from withdrawing such practices," said Farah Kabir, country director for ActionAid Bangladesh. "We have an uphill battle, yet it can be won. There needs to be greater regulation in the sale of such drugs. Government and the state must play an active role."

Image
An open common toilet is seen at a brothel by the river Padma in Faridpur February 23, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

(Writing by Nita Bhalla; Editing by John Chalmers and Paul Tait)
Source: Reuters.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:03 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
40 years of happy families for Bangladesh matchmaker
5 April 2012

Image
Work colleagues of Kazi Ashraf Hossain (left) always told him he had a talent for getting couples together, so when he was forced to quit his job as a crane operator, he set up as a matchmaker.

AFP - Kazi Ashraf Hossain's work colleagues always told him he had a talent for getting couples together, so when he was forced to quit his job as a crane operator, he set up as a matchmaker.

Nearly 40 years later, Hossain -- known by his nickname "Pakhi Bhai" (Bird Brother) -- is celebrated as Bangladesh's national "cupid" who has put together about 10,000 couples. "They said I had this natural ability to persuade a stubborn groom. I had to stop operating cranes after an ulcer operation, so I thought why not give matchmaking a go?" he told AFP at his smart offices in the capital Dhaka. "With an armful of photos, I set myself up in business. My father vehemently opposed it. For him it was the worst job."

In the early years, Pakhi Bhai used to go about his trade like a street hawker, visiting families door to door with photographs of potential brides and grooms. "The number of clients was negligible in the early days," said Pakhi Bhai, who started out in 1973. "The reward was meagre, not enough to feed my family properly. I used to travel between clients so fast that they wondered whether I flew in like a bird. Hence the name: Bird Brother." His break came in the late 1970s, when he invested money and started to buy newspaper advertisements. "It shocked a lot of people. The hotel where I lived threatened to evict me," he said.

Image
Bangladeshi man Shawkat Ali Khan (left) with his bride Farzana Yasmin Nipa's at their wedding in November.

But now he is a well-known celebrity, a regular feature on annual Valentine Day television specials and widely admired for his wealth, influence and contacts. The job has changed from the days of walking the streets, and Pakhi Bhai now works out of his headquarters in a swish city mall with three mobile phones on the go, a computer database and five female assistants. He charges between $1,200 and $4,000 when a marriage takes place, and also runs a membership scheme that gives access to thousands of online resumes and photographs.

Even such resources cannot help everyone, and his latest clients -- two sets of families -- emerge disappointed from the "match-making room" in Pakhi Bhai's office. Ahmed, who works in Portsmouth, Britain, for an aerospace subsidiary, has returned to Bangladesh on extended leave to find a wife, but his search has not yet been successful. "The batteries didn't spark," Pakhi Bhai said. "The boy is highly qualified. It's natural the family will look for a beautiful girl. They want someone who must be beautiful, educated, slim and at least 5 foot 2 inches (157 centimetres)."

For Pakhi Bhai, all marriages should be "arranged" by family members in the traditional manner instead of being "love" marriages between two individuals. "I have seen thousands of love marriages break up after the wedding. These divorcees then come to us for an arranged marriage," he said. "An arranged marriage is rock solid because it is the union of two families and their extended kin. The two families own the couple and they try their best not to allow it to split," he said.

Image
Bangladeshi children dressed in traditional wedding costumes participate in an Eid al-Adha festival procession in Dhaka in 2004.

But migration to cities has dispersed communities and broken the traditional ties through which wedding were set up -- so a professional matchmaker is increasingly necessary, particularly as aspirations are rising fast. "Girls are now very choosy. These days they would rather wait into their late 30s than marry someone not fit for them. Two decades ago if a girl was not married off before 25, she must have something terribly wrong," he said. "Old-fashioned qualities like honesty, humility or good character are being forgotten," he said ruefully. "Every girl wants a groom who must be rich and smart. He must own a car or a flat in the city."

Pakhi Bhai is a good advertisment for his own business. He has six children with his first wife and then -- with her consent -- took a second wife as allowed under Muslim law. "I live in the capital and my first wife lives in my village home in (southern) Barisal district. I needed someone to look after me here in Dhaka," he said.

In recent years, matchmakers have been criticised for inflating the job status and wealth estimates of their clients to tap into the sought-after market of grooms who work abroad. "Upstart agencies have grown like mushrooms," Pakhi Bhai said. "It's hard for a matchmaker to know if a girl lied about her age or a boy about his wealth. For us, it's goodwill that matters most. One big mistake and people would turn against you."

Pakhi Bhai has become rich and successful but he still feels a stigma is attached to his job. "People don't want to show that their marriage was aided by a matchmaker. They think any recognition of our role will bring shame or spoil their party. I've found matches for so many people including some whose parents had all but given up hope. But I almost never get asked to their weddings," he said.

Source: France24.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:24 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Transgender romance movie a hit in Bangladesh
8 July 2012

Image
A picture from film director Noman Robin shows a dance sequence from the movie "Common Gender".

AFP - A film about a love affair between a transgender person and a Hindu boy has become a surprise hit in Bangladesh, with distributors saying on Sunday that it will now be given a general release.

"Common Gender", Bangladesh's first film dealing with transgender people, often known as hijras, opened in just six cinemas two weeks ago but full houses have encouraged cinema owners to extend its run and screen it nationwide. "We opted to release the movie only in six cinemas in the first week as it lacked big stars and some labelled it as an art-house movie," said Enamul Karim, the film's distributor.

"But it's a resounding success so far. It is pulling in crowds and other cinemas are taking it up." He added that an Indian producer was in talks to buy the film rights. "We have had bumper shows and the trend is very good. We are now planning to show the film until the end of August," Syed Razfature Rahman, manager of Balaka theatre in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, said.

Image
A picture from film director Noman Robin shows a dance sequence from the movie "Common Gender", Bangladesh's first film dealing with transgender people, often known as hijras.

In the movie, Sushmita, a hijra, falls in love with a Hindu boy but the boy's parents refuse to accept Sushmita, eventually leading to her suicide. Across South Asia, hijra communities of transvestites, eunuchs and asexual people are among the most marginalised groups in traditionally conservative societies. Director Noman Robin said he made the film after he saw a transgender person attacked for using a female toilet at a shopping mall. "The hijra was beaten in front of hundreds of people," he said.

Last October more than 1,000 hijras rallied in Dhaka for a government-sponsored demonstration to raise awareness of their rights.

Source: France24.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:48 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
150-year-old Bangladesh brothel fights closure
1 August 2012

Image
A sex worker at a brothel in Madaripur, Bangladesh.

AFP - Tara Das says she is the fifth generation of her family to work at the same brothel in Bangladesh, but now she is fighting against Islamic protesters who want her business to close.

The red light district in Madaripur city is thought to have been in operation for at least 150 years, and the sex workers believe the sudden wave of protests are orchestrated by developers trying to take over the valuable land.

Last month, about 10,000 people led by a new Muslim group called Islahe Kaom Parishad (the National Reform Council) rallied outside the rambling complex to call for it to be shut down and the 500 sex workers evicted. "Ever since they held that huge rally, I could not sleep properly. Tell me where I shall go?" Das told AFP. "This is my home and this is the only job I knew from my childhood. Please save us from these religious leaders."

Image
Laksmi Rani, 80, one of the oldest sex workers in the red light district in Madaripur, Bangladesh.

The brothel, founded for native jute traders during the British colonial era, is a cluster of moss-stained three-storey brick houses and tin sheds in the middle of Madaripur, 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Dhaka. It is legal as it dates back to before Bangladesh's independence in 1971, but is now being targeted by hardline activists from Parishad. The Islamic group has held a series of angry demonstrations and is lobbying city authorities on the grounds that the brothel corrupts the town's young men and must be razed.

Sex workers believe the activists are organised by businessmen linked to local politicians, and they report a campaign of intimidation including an explosive device found recently on the site and two attempted arson attacks. "We told the authorities that we won't leave the place. Our job is lawful. We also don't have any underage sex workers here," said Momo Rani Karmakar, head of the Madaripur sex workers' union. "We've inherited the place from our grandmothers, some of them are still alive. We are like a family here. "It's a conspiracy to grab our land worth crores of taka (millions of dollars)," she said, adding that 110 children living in the brothel settlement go to school every day.

Image
A sex worker eats a meal at a brothel in Madaripur, Bangladesh.

Since the protests started, police now patrol the area while government officials say any final decision on redevelopment is still pending. A committee, led by the regional deputy administrator, has been set up and has tried to open talks to encourage rehabilitation of the sex workers. "Muslims and local elites don't want this centuries-old brothel in the town anymore. They said it might have served some purposes decades back, but it's not needed," Siddiqur Rahman, the committee head, told AFP. Rahman said the authorities would start the rehabilitation process by conducting a survey to determine the number of under-aged sex workers. "Adult sex workers will be motivated to take up other jobs," he said. "It will be done strictly on voluntary basis. A local charity will be involved."

But the sex workers told AFP that they don't want to leave or switch to other jobs. Many told how they previously left the trade but had been hounded out of other communities. "If I don't have clients, how can I feed my five children and maintain their education," said Jhumur, 45, who uses only one name. "They want to keep us hungry and force us out so that they can take our land. "Our clients are worried that they might be publicly humiliated. Clients have already got the impression that the brothel is on the verge of closure."

Image
A sex worker at a brothel in Madaripur, Bangladesh.

Many sex workers allege that the real reason behind the protests is the ambitions of a prominent Muslim family who are already erecting a multi-storied building next to the brothel. The Parishad group deny such claims and say they are acting to protect Islamic morals. "The brothel is the main source of criminal activity in the region," group secretary Ali Ahmed Chowdhury told AFP. "It runs illegal wine shops. Under-aged girls are bought and sold and it's a big source of the drug trade. "It's shameful work. It is not a profession."

The battle against long-established brothels in Bangladesh -- a conservative Muslim-majority nation -- is spreading, with at least four red light districts closed in the last decade. The country's largest brothel, Tanbazaar, situated on the outskirts of Dhaka, was shut down largely due to pressure from a ruling party lawmaker. Tanbazaar, established in 1888, was converted into a market and many of the 2,600 sex workers ended up on the streets.

"Anti-vice" groups have also threatened to close other brothels across the country, according the charity ActionAid which provides some advocacy services to those affected. In Madaripur, the sex workers are determined to avoid such a fate.

Image
The red light district in southern Bangladesh's Madaripur.

"We have told them that unless you shoot us down, you can't throw us out of here," said Morzina, who lost her husband two years ago and was forced to return to the brothel to make a living. "We will raid the houses of the Muslim leaders if they come here to evict us," she said.

Source: France24.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:25 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Job training transforms lives of Bangladesh transgenders
14 September 2012

Image
Transgender Saiful Islam (R) works in the make-up department of Bangladesh's largest private television channel ATN Bangla in Dhaka on September 8.

AFP - A love for lipstick and eyeliner meant a lifetime of discrimination for Saiful Islam, until a transgender training scheme in Bangladesh helped bring him hard-won acceptance and land him his dream job.

Many transgender people in south Asia, where they are known as hijras, are thrown out by their families and forced to scrape a living through begging, prostitution or drug dealing.

But each morning, Islam pulls on a pair of low-cut jeans and a tight T-shirt, applies his own make-up, and heads off to work in Dhaka at the offices of ATN Bangla, Bangladesh's largest private television channel.

"The best part of my job here is that my colleagues treat me like any other human being. For a hijra this is a great achievement," Islam, who started his new career eight months ago, told AFP. "A crowd would build up to see me and my three other hijra colleagues when we joined ATN Bangla. Some would even tease us. Now everything is normal. We're like any other staff."

Islam, 22, is the beneficiary of government efforts to help transgender people who are among the most marginalised and discriminated groups in India and Bangladesh. Last year he was one of 30 hijras to attend a technical school to take courses in videography, garment-sewing and beauty care to help them get jobs and integrate into mainstream society. After six months of training, his friends Bobby and Chanchal found positions as video editors at ATN Bangla, while Islam and Opu became make-up artists at the station.

Image
Transgender Saiful Islam (R) works in the make-up department of Bangladesh's largest private television channel ATN Bangla in Dhaka on September 8.

Islam, whose job is to ensure presenters and newsreaders look their best just before they go live on air, says the changes to his life have been "nothing short of a miracle". "We never dreamt that one day we can work in offices like other normal people," he said. Born to a middle-class family in Dhaka, Islam became used to harassment and abuse from when he was a small child and started wearing women's clothes and lipstick. "Seeing me wearing saris and bangles, my brothers would become so furious that they would tie me up, beat me with a cane and keep me hungry," he said. At 18, Islam did what tens of thousands of south Asian transgenders do and fled home to join a hijra community where he found the freedom to wear what he liked.

Hirja groups traditionally earn money by turning up at weddings, births and other occasions, where they loudly refuse to leave until they have been given cash. Islam says he hated using extortion, and his time in the hirja community was blighted by sexual abuse and violence. "Two years ago, I was coming from a dancing show wearing a sari, bangles and fake breasts when this gang held me by pointing a knife at my throat," he said. "They tortured me one after another, shouting that my job is to entertain them."

Now Islam earns 10,000 take ($122) each month, more than three times higher than the national minimum wage, and he has a long-term plan to open a beauty parlour. "I've now left the hijra den and am back living with my mother. Before this job, I lost my faith in people," he said.

Ebadur Rahman, a government official who oversees the project to train up hijras, said the success of the first batch of graduates had encouraged him to organise another programme to help others develop business skills. "A lot of private sector people have approached us for recruiting hijras. Garment factories are the keenest as they are suffering from an acute labour crisis," he said.

Last year Rahman's project did what was until recently unthinkable in this overwhelmingly conservative Muslim country: holding a rally in Dhaka for more than 1,000 transgender people. "Our biggest achievement is that the hijra issue is no longer taboo. Even the policymakers have now realised that marginalisation is not the answer. If you keep them away, they will remain a problem forever," said Rahman.

Image
Transgender Nurul Islam (R) works at Bangladesh's largest private television channel ATN Bangla in Dhaka on September 8. After six months of training, he found a position as a video editor.

The government has since unveiled a monthly stipend to elderly hijras and is setting up a permanent training centre exclusively for transgenders where they will be able to learn skills to help them find work. "This is the first time a Bangladesh government has taken up any schemes for the hijra community. We want to ensure social and job security so they have a decent life," said Abu Taher, deputy director of social welfare ministry.

For Pinki Shikder, a social activist who has fought for decades on behalf of the country's estimated 150,000 hijras, the apparent change in official attitudes is welcome -- but she struck of note of caution too. "We are very happy that the state is at least thinking about our rights, especially in a country where even women often are not given full rights yet," said Shikder, head of the Bangladesh Hijra Association. "But we are still at the start of our journey. We're talking about a few projects and just a few people getting jobs -- against a need that is so overwhelming and a problem that's thousands of years old."

Source: France24.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:25 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Bangladesh film tackles past culture of underage sex
16 October 2012

Image
Cinema goers gather at a movie theatre in Dhaka.

AFP - For conservative Muslim-majority Bangladesh, it is a forgotten and often shocking part of history: a time when aristocrats would openly flaunt male teenage singers whom they took as lovers.

Homosexuality remains illegal in Bangladesh, but the practice of rich Muslim landlords in rural areas publicly living with adolescent "Ghetu" males each monsoon season was widely accepted 150 years ago.

Now a new film, "Ghetuputra Komola" (Pleasure-boy Komola), has highlighted how perceptions of adolescence have changed in a country where the typical marriage age for girls used to be about 13, to grooms aged 20 or above. The film tells of a boy who sings sexually-suggestive songs and who becomes the obsession of a Muslim man, drawing the ire of his jealous wife. Set in the northeastern district of Habiganj, the film explores what many would today describe as a paedophilia culture that existed in remote communities that were often cut off for four months each year by the annual rains.

For many wealthy Muslim men, it was a time to listen to Ghetu singers and live with them as lovers -- a lifestyle that died as orthodox Muslim values grew and as the area became less isolated from the rest of the country. Faridur Reza Sagar, the movie's producer, said that the subject was "a story worth telling" despite touching on such sensitive topics as gay and underage sex. He cautioned against a romantic view of the Ghetu culture. "When the filmmaker (Humayun Ahmed) came up with the idea, I was a little bit sceptical. It was a controversial issue. As Humayun has said, it's our good fortune that this tradition is gone," he said.

Image
Women look at a poster advertising the film "Ghetuputra Komola" at a movie theatre in Dhaka.

Ahmed, Bangladesh's most popular fiction writer and the country's leading film director and TV drama-maker, died in July in the United States after a battle against colon cancer aged 64. He wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, many of them bestsellers in Bangladesh, and his death was marked by tributes from the president and prime minister. "The man's wives did not mind, and a form of polygamy evolved," Ahmed said before he died. "The blatant infidelity in the name of folk music is no more. With it, a strange ritual is lost."

Growing up in the low-lying Netrokona district 55 years ago, musician Abdul Quddus Bayati experienced the last days of Ghetu songs and was once part of one such group. He said that only boys who could sing and were aged between 14-18 were chosen, often bought or recruited from their poor parents for a yearly or multi-year contract. "The money lured many poor families," he said. "I saw how Ghetus were courted by the rich. There was a time when the flutes used by Ghetus were auctioned off with dozens ready to pay as much as they could." "Even the pillows they used sold in auction," he said.

Bayati, who wrote a song for Ahmed's film, said some young Ghetus became romantically attached to their male hosts. Such relationships would be seen as exploitative and criminal across much of the world today. "There was competition among the rich people to keep the Ghetus with them," he said. "They would have sex and nobody would bother. There was no protest from the Muslim clergy. Their (the clergy's) gaining of strength is a relatively new thing," he said.

Image
Cinema goers gather at a movie theatre in Dhaka.

Homosexual acts are banned by law dating back to 19th century when the country was part of British India and any "unusual carnal intercourse" can still land a person to jail for life. The age of marriage has increased in the last two decades, especially among the educated, but many underage weddings still occur in defiance of the legal minimum of 18-years-old.

Film critic Ahmad Mazhar believes that the movie only got made -- and escaped the censor's cuts -- due to Humayun Ahmed's fame and reputation. "The board did not cut a single scene, which is remarkable given its history of censoring even harmless films," Mazhar told AFP. "The strange thing was that this practice was exclusively confined among the rich Bengali Muslims. Their wives had no choice but to endure the pain in silence. Had Ahmed not made this film, we might never know about Ghetu songs and how they originated centuries ago. It was a hugely popular music and the society at that time accepted both the music and sexuality without any qualms."

"Ghetuputra Komola", which has had a limited release in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, was last month selected as the country's entry for the chance to compete in the best foreign film category at next year's Oscars.

Source: France24.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Bangladesh and sex
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:29 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:58 am
Posts: 94851
Location: Floating in space
Rape protests spread beyond India
by Jason Burke
Friday, 4 January 2013

Image
Activists in Dhaka, Bangladesh protest against rape. Photograph: Rehman Asad/ Rehman Asad/Demotix/Corbis

Protests against sexual violence are spreading across south Asia as anger following the gang rape and death of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi courses through the region.

Inspired by the rallies and marches staged across India for nearly three weeks, demonstrations have also been held in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh – all countries where activists say women suffer high levels of sexual and domestic violence.

In Nepal, the case of a 21-year-old woman who says she was raped and threatened with death by a police officer and robbed by immigration officials, prompted hundreds of demonstrators to converge on the prime minister's residence in Kathmandu. They called for legal reforms and an overhaul of attitudes to women. "We had seen the power of the mass campaign in Delhi's rape case. It is a pure people's movement," said Anita Thapa, one of the demonstrators.

Bandana Rana, a veteran Nepalese activist, described the ongoing protests in Delhi as "eye-opening". "A few years back, women even talking about sexual violence or even domestic violence was a very rare," she said.

Sultana Kamal, of the Bangladeshi human rights group Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), said the protests in Delhi had given fresh impetus to protests against sexual violence. One incident that has provoked anger in Bangladesh was the alleged gang rape of a teenager by four men over four days in early December in Tangail, 40 miles north-west of Dhaka. The men were said to have made videos of the attack before leaving their victim near a rail track where she was eventually found by her brother. On Friday a teenager who was said to have been repeatedly raped in a hotel died in hospital in Dhaka of injuries sustained when she subsequently tried to take her own life.

But despite the widespread anger, the social stigma attached to rape victims remains a major problem throughout the region. Although Bangladesh police arrested suspects in both the cases and investigations are under way, activists fear that corruption as well as deep-seated misogyny among investigating officers and the judiciary make convictions unlikely. According to ASK's statistics, at least 1,008 women were raped in 2012 in Bangladesh, of whom 98 were later killed.

Khushi Kabir, one of the organisers of a "human chain" in Dhaka to protest against violence to women, said its aim was "to show that people are not going to just let this [movement] die down". Kabir said although previous demonstrations on similar issues were largely dominated by women, men were now protesting too. The protests had also drawn people from a broad range of society. "We had lawyers, schoolchildren, teachers, theatre activists and personalities, industrialists," she said.

One week after the Delhi rape victim died in a Singapore hospital, the widespread grief and outrage have moderated, but a fierce debate still rages over the country's sexual violence and attitudes to women. One politician from the opposition BJP party was forced to apologise after stating the women who did not stay "within moral limits … paid the price". A senior official in a hardline Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation provoked controversy when he claimed that westernisation was responsible for rapes in cities.

The Delhi rape case is being heard in a special fast-track court inaugurated last week to deal with such offences in the capital. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Saturday. Protests however continue, albeit at a lower intensity than in previous weeks.

The Indian media continue to give prominence to news items that would barely have received attention a month ago. On Friday it was reported that a 19-year-old woman had died in a hospital in the north-western city of Jaipur after she set herself on fire allegedly following aggressive harassment from a neighbour. She said the man had threatened to kill her brother and father if she did not marry him.

In another incident reported on Friday a woman was said to have jumped from a moving train to escape an assault. Sexual harassment on public transport is endemic in India where men target single young women. Such abuse is described euphemistically as "eve-teasing" with perpetrators dubbed "railway Romeos".

One persistent problem, women say, is men filming their faces or bodies on mobile phones in buses or trains. Indian activists have repeatedly argued that media descriptions of such activities as "eve-teasing" contribute to the widespread acceptance of sexual harassment in public places.

A recent survey by the Hindustan Times newspaper found that nearly 80% of women aged between 18 and 25 in Delhi had been harassed last year and more than 90% of men of the same age had "friends who had made passes at women in public places". Nearly two-thirds of the latter thought the problem was exaggerated. It was also reported on Friday that though Delhi police had received 64 calls alleging a rape and 501 calls about harassment since 16 December, only four formal inquiries had been launched.

Senior officials across the south Asian region have defended their government's records on tackling sexual violence against women. In Delhi, Sushilkumar Shinde, the Indian home secretary, said on Friday that crimes against women and marginalised sections of society were increasing, and it was the government's responsibility to stop them. "This needs to be curbed by an iron hand," he told a conference of state officials from across India convened to discuss how to protect women. He called for changes in the law and the way police investigate cases so justice could be swiftly delivered. Many rape cases are bogged down in India's overburdened and sluggish court system for years. "We need a reappraisal of the entire system," he said.

Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, the Bangladeshi minister for women and children's affairs, said her government was "taking this issue very seriously". "Just yesterday [Thursday] a sex offender … was given a very high punishment under the law," she said, "but sometimes the delay and the whole process of the trial takes a bit of time to ensure justice."

Protests are expected on Saturday in Bangladesh following the news of a new incident: the rape and killing of a student in the south-east of the country. The 14-year-old is reported to have left home to bring in her family's cows in Rangamati district one evening earlier this week. Her uncle later found her body in a forest. An autopsy report later confirmed that she had been raped and then strangled.

• Additional reporting: Ishwar Rauniyar in Kathmandu, Saad Hammadi, Dhaka.
Source: Guardian UK.

_________________
"My bed is my office."
Visit our Gallery, list your business in our Directory!


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TuentiShare on SonicoShare on FriendFeedShare on OrkutShare on DiggShare on RedditShare on DeliciousShare on VKShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on MySpace
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group