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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. This study aimed to build formative knowledge regarding HIV risks in female migrant sex workers in Moscow, focusing on gender and power. This was a collaborative ethnographic study, informed by the theory of gender and power, in which we conducted minimally structured interviews with 24 female sex workers who were migrants to Moscow and who provided sexual services to male migrant laborers.
Overall, the female migrant sex workers engaged in HIV risk behaviors and practiced inadequate HIV protection with their clients. These behaviors were shaped by gender and power factors in the realms of labor, behavior, and cathexis. In the labor realm, because some female migrants were unable to earn enough money to support their families, they were pushed or pulled into sex work providing service to male migrants.
In the cathexis realm, many had a sense of shame, social isolation, emotional distress, and lacked basic HIV knowledge and prevention skills. Russia is a major destination for labor migration from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. Increased economic hardships due to the recent global financial crisis as well as tightening of legal measures against migrant workers have made it even more difficult for migrant women to find employment Mezentseva, Moscow has an estimated 30, tofemale sex workers, with a substantial proportion being migrants, although definitive statistics are lacking.
Several prior studies have focused on sex workers in Moscow. Aral et al highlighted the social-organization of sex work, describing that migration patterns created a demand for and supply of sex workers: male migrants away from their families and female Sex in mosco who needed income. Stachowiak et al. Other studies have suggested that higher risks could be associated with such specific migration-related factors as mobility, social exclusion, poor access to health care, violations of human and civil rights, younger age, low self-efficacy, lack of resources, lack of knowledge, attitudes of service providers, fear of violation of privacy, and involuntary sexual acts Ghimire et al, ; Zimmerman et al, Female migrant sex workers in Russia Sex in mosco a concern not only for Russia but also for migrant-sending countries.
However, presently in Moscow, no known HIV preventions have been deed and evaluated for the substantial public health problem involving female migrant sex workers and male labor migrants. To inform better multilevel preventive intervention development with female migrant sex workers in Moscow, this study focused on women engaged in sex work with foreign male labor migrants in Moscow.
This investigation was part of an ongoing collaboration formed in between U. The study ethnographers included U. All interviewers were trained in ethnographic interviewing and in the research background, aims, and methods.
Migrant sex workers were chosen to meet the following criteria: 1 age between 18 and 49 years; 2 migrant woman participating in sex work providing sex services in exchange for money ; and 3 working with foreign labor migrants and, therefore, Sex in mosco bridging with the sending country. The recruited sample was heterogeneous with respect to country of origin, age, level of education, and place in the organization of sex work in Moscow.
All respondents spoke Russian in addition to the official language of their native countries. Language proficiency was assessed during the consent procedures by asking each potential participant to answer three questions concerning their understanding of the research. Based upon our familiarity with the organization of sex work for Tajik male migrants in Moscow, we Sex in mosco chose to identify potential participants through taxi drivers known to provide transportation for female sex workers to migrants.
The study ethnographers worked with the taxi drivers to locate sex workers who were then screened and recruited for the study. In addition, some enrolled participants put ethnographers in contact with other sex workers who worked at different sites e. Potential participants were purposively sampled, meaning participants were selected based on their ability to provide the most information about the phenomenon under study and to represent variations in relevant demographic characteristics. After providing each potential participant with a complete description of the study, oral informed consent was obtained as approved by the Institutional Review Boards of the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Tajik Ministry of Health, and the Russian Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Case Western Reserve University.
To protect their safety, after obtaining verbal informed consent from anonymized participants, interviews were conducted in a private and secure location. Overall, 33 women were approached, 27 of these were found to be eligible, and 24 of those eligible participated. All interviews were conducted in Russian. The grounded theory approach is deed for the development of theory within the context of intensive field research.
It is an iterative analysis that codes patterns in qualitative data to describetypologies, and processes, leading to the creation of a model. The analysis began with a review of all interview transcripts by the research team, which yielded a set of corresponding to the conceptual framework and contributed to developing a coding scheme. Next, each transcript was coded by one of three coders using the coding scheme. The coders met regularly to discuss emerging issues in the coding approach and to refine coding strategies by consensus.
Then, through pattern coding and creating memos, the analysis identified factors that were combined to generate a grounded theory model. The findings were reviewed by the entire team to check for contrary evidence. Their mean age was Nearly half the women had a high school education, and one-half had college or university education. Half of the participants had children. Below this model is summarized and illustrated with quotations. Labor socioeconomic factors related to undertaking sex work were: 1 migrating for work; 2 push or pull factors into sex work, and; 3 the organization of sex work.
All participants stated that their primary reason for migrating was to find work to meet financial responsibilities for their families back home. Many articulated negative aspects of migrating, especially regret over leaving their children and fears of being a woman in a foreign country. Some were single mothers who lost their husbands, either through death, abandonment, or divorce, and had to support their children alone.
These women left their children with their parents or other relatives. So, I came here because I was so tired.
Other participants were women who did not have children of their own, but who were financially responsible for other abandoned family members. Other participants were unmarried women who became labor migrants to care for their elderly parents, especially those with medical problems who needed funds to pay for medical expenses. He tells me what he needs me to buy here in Moscow because there are no medications there.
Still other participants were young unmarried women who migrated less for pressing financial needs but for seeking adventure or higher education. Some of these participants were students who found that their student stipends were inadequate. The women described both push and pull factors leading them into sex work. Push factors included financial need, lack of stable employment, and inadequate income.
Some ly had jobs but lost them when the economic crisis devastated the Russian economy. Others were employed, but found their income insufficient to afford both the high cost of living in Moscow and Sex in mosco families back home.
So then I spent almost 6 months not working. Some women reported what may be considered pull factors, such as pressure from friends or acquaintances, or introductions to sex work handlers. She told me a lot about her men. Some women entering sex work reported an additional pull factor which was men who, through romantic relationship or casual acquaintance, introduced migrant women to sex work, in some instances, involving deception.
Later he called me and told me to come over to his place. And there were about four friends of his.
So we drank, of course, and I ended up sleeping with two of them. And they paid me. And I could not understand why, especially, since I was dating S. Sex work by female migrants was organized in ways aimed to connect them with male migrant clients. Most female migrant sex workers reported working in or near bazaars where migrant men work, or neighborhoods with high concentration of cheaper housing where migrant men reside. Some women moved around the city in search of clients and worked in saunas, hotels, cafes, or parks. Some women worked for a handler or pimp, frequently the one who recruited the woman into sex work.
He calls clients after sex. He asks him how much he paid me. Other sex workers were self-employed but paid a man to act as a driver and bodyguard.
Frequently, this man also helped to find clients. Of course, I give him a percentage. Everything is legal and organized. The women did not share their earnings with these men. Other self-employed sex workers worked together with their female migrant friends. These groups of migrant women looked for clients together and, frequently, lived together, saving money on rent and using their apartment to meet with clients.
Sex work activity was often arranged through referral networks in and around the bazaars or construction sites. Another group of self-employed women worked alone, preferring to find clients by themselves, bringing them to their apartments or to hotels. These women tended to have been in Moscow longer and were more established in the city.
They often worked in bazaars where they could find their own clients. I Sex in mosco alone. I either find clients myself. Overall, the women reported adequate but not excessive earnings through sex work to afford living in Moscow, where rent was expensive, and to help their families back home. Without a residency permit, health care in Moscow was prohibitively expensive.Sex in mosco
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Female Migrant Sex Workers in Moscow: Gender and Power Factors and HIV Risk