Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sex workers of Faridpur

An aging sex worker reclines in her bedroom in a brothel in Faridpur, central Bangladesh.

Overflowing buckets of trash and used condoms are seen of the 3rd floor in the Joinal Bari brothel.

Kajul is embraced by a customer in her bedroom of the 3rd floor of the Boro Bari brothel.

Pachey and Argu wait for customers outside their room on the 3rd floor of the Joinal Bari brothel.
"I am 22 years old and have been working in this brothel for two years. I was married for four years but ran away because my husband was crazy. When I moved back in with my parents my uncle took me to Dhaka. I believed him when he told me he was going to enroll me in a dance school, but instead he sold me to a madame. I am not afraid of anyone. Sometimes this place is okay, sometimes it's not, but anything is better than living with my husband. I don't talk with my parents anymore; I miss them, but what can I do? The people in the brothel are like family to me; Alyea (my madame) is my mother now. I love her and dream of being a madame someday." says Pachey.

Piea waits outside her room while customers browse the halls of the 3rd floor in the Joinal Bari brothel.

About 800 women and girls live and work inside the bustling brothel, comprised of four buildings situated on an important trading route on the banks of the Padma river. Many of chowkri (bonded sex workers) are underage. Some of the girls are runaways who leave home to escape a bad situation or marriage, and end up on the brothels when they have no where else to go. Many others have been kidnapped and sold to a madame by a parent or relative. They must take on 5-10 clients per day, and most receive no pay because they must repay their debt to their madame.

Please view the rest of the project at


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