Decriminalising Sex Work in India: A Gendered Perspective


Sex work and Prostitution is said to be the oldest profession in the world, but there is a contentious dichotomy and a deprecatory view on prostitution today. The social status of prostitution in ancient and regulated pre-colonial India fostered more agency than today. The exigencies of British morality denigrated the perception of sex workers and prostitution and left profound repercussions on their rights, livelihood and wellbeing and scarred the women’s rights movement in India. While, consenting sexual activities between adults for money in India is not illegal, the current laws and enforcement mechanism are incoherent and criminalises every other aspect of prostitution. This paper focuses on understanding the current socio-economic and legal frameworks and the emergence of the new discourse of decriminalisation of sex work in India.

By: Aayesha Shagufta

Published on March 11, 2021

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