Prostitution and the Role of Women in Kamathipura

The Kamathipura red light district of Mumbai is one of the largest sex work zones in Mumbai Thane Escorts and also one of the most unequal areas in the world. The city's prostitutes—mostly working as a means for survival—are considered "untouchables," embodying power, some experts say, that women wield over men. In 2009, Indian film director Mira Nair produced an episode for HBO's Project Greenlight about prostitution in Bombay's Kamathipura neighborhood. 


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Prostitution: A Painful Reality

The Prostitute in Kamathipura is one of many neighborhoods popular for sex work. For many prostitutes in India, the financial benefits associated with prostitution and the safety provided by the locations where they work are enough to overcome the stigma that society imposes on those who engage in sex work. 

However, there are still a number of women who choose this profession because it allows them to escape abusive relationships. A study conducted by the National Institute of Public Health and the National Law School of India, Bangalore, states that a majority of sex workers in Kamathipura have been victims of domestic violence and abuse.

—Sohani Nair, 

Exploring 'A Daring Mixture'

—Mira Nair, 

Cinematographer for "Monsoon Wedding" (2001)

Acknowledgments: The photographs are by K.R. Photography Studio, Mumbai.


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Prostitution is Not Oppressive To Men

"The word 'pimp' is a pejorative term that originated in African American street language, indicating a person who leads others (women, especially African-American women) into exploitative situations. However, men are not monsters who force women into prostitution."

"Many prostitutes in India are trafficked from the poorer third world countries such as Bangladesh and West Bengal. Most of these women also have their children with them.

A 2005 report by the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center (SAHRC) reveals that about 14–16 women in Kamathipura have been killed since 2000. The report also states that there have been "over 300 rape cases and 600 theft cases reported over the years." These numbers are a large increase from the 1990s when only six murder cases had been reported between 1990 and 1995. In addition, it is believed that there have been over 60 violent assaults and gang rapes while at least 500 individuals are missing in Mumbai.

The National Human Rights Commission has repeatedly criticized the state of Maharashtra for not stopping the violence against sex workers in Kamathipura.

A common misconception about women and sex work is that their source of income is male sexual aggression. However, researchers have found that it is not always the case and concluded that many women choose this career because it provides them with financial independence, freedom from domestic abuse, and a chance to become a business owner.


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These are Some Reasons Why Women Become Part of Prostitutes.

The women who choose to become prostitutes in Mumbai's red-light district do so for a variety of reasons. These include escaping abusive relationships, seeking better financial opportunities, or working as part of a larger trafficking ring. Regardless of their reasons, research suggests that sex workers in Kamathipura are not usually forced into their line of work.


In fact, according to the International Labour Organization, nearly three-quarters of the estimated 800,000 women working as prostitutes in India's brothels entered into prostitution voluntarily.


Prostitution and Sex

Trafficking in India


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Though many sex workers choose this career path, researchers believe that there have been some instances where women have been forced into prostitution against their will. A study conducted by the United Nations in 2005 found that 72% of the women working in India's commercial sex industry have been trafficked from other states within India.


Sex trafficking is often confused with prostitution and is a greater problem than many believe. Sex trafficking occurs when an individual is forced, coerced or deceived into engaging in commercial sex against their will, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Often, victims of this crime have their passports confiscated and are threatened with physical harm.

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