Sex work & Feminism in India -The vexed relationships

Feminist understandings and standpoints about ‘agency’ ‘consent’ and ‘voluntary entry into sex work’ remain fertile ground for discussions and debates but also possible disconnections among the two movements, which lead them to work on parallel lines that are difficult to connect. In India a common feminist perspective concerning sex work is not only to see violence in sex work but to see sex work itself as violence. Secondly, the entry point presumes harm, coercion and victimhood. The third issue is that sex work is associated with trafficking. Sex work itself is taken for granted astrafficking without giving space to voluntary entry into sex work. A feminist opposition to mention’ sex work’ as against ‘prostitution’ is also seen and often experienced as problematic by the sex worker’s rights groups everywhere as well as in India (Sahani, et al 2008).

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