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Respectability and rights. Sexual and reproductive health and rights of Sri Lankan women formerly involved in prostitution
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Caring Science, Caring Science. Uppsala universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8349-918X
Umeå universitet.
Department of Community Medicine, University of Sri Jaywardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka.
2019 (English)In: Contemporary South Asia, ISSN 0958-4935, E-ISSN 1469-364XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Women in prostitution are often disrespected and subject to health risks. The aim of this study is to explore how women formerly engaged in prostitution in Sri Lanka position themselves in relation to gendered norms of respectability, and to discuss the possible implications for their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with fifteen women formerly engaged in prostitution. Discourse analysis was used to identify and describe interpretative repertoires and four repertoires were identified: Victimhood, Resistance, Responsibility, and Independence. The first three were drawn upon to construct their identities in line with norms of female respectability, as the women emphasised being victims of unfortunate situations, resisting sexual disrespectability and taking responsibility for their children and others. The last repertoire deviated from the respectability norm as it conveyed a picture of the women as independent, strong and courageous subjects, characteristics more in line with male respectability in Sri Lanka. Despite marginalised and oppressive circumstances, the women drew on interpretative repertoires to enhance access to respect, dignity and resources. However, their vulnerability to violence, SRHR risks and virtual absence of rights leave them with little access to resources that could enable a healthier and better life. © 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019.
Keywords [en]
agency, prostitution, Respectability, sexual and reproductive health and rights, violence
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30888DOI: 10.1080/09584935.2019.1667301ISI: 000488798800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85073957581OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-30888DiVA, id: diva2:1368007
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Note

Funding: The study was financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Medical Faculty at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Available from: 2019-11-05 Created: 2019-11-05 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Jordal, Malin

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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