9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN23 Sexuality

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Sex Work Building I, 1E10

Post Sexual Trafficking in Nepal: Livelihoods, Sexuality and Citizenship

Sexual trafficking is a priority issue for many governments and has increasingly become a focus for debate within the academy. Despite this, many aspects of sexual trafficking remain poorly understood. In this paper we focus on an area that has received scant attention in the literature: the situation of trafficked women when they return home and specifically, the livelihood opportunities available to them as they experience differing notions of citizenship and processes of sexual stigmatisation. In addition to the fact that there has been very little attempt to document poverty alleviation strategies post trafficking, within the mainstream development literature little attention has been given to questions of sexuality and how they relate to development and poverty reduction strategies and constitutional reform. Bringing together distinct literatures on sexual citizenship and sustainable livelihoods we develop our analysis of these themes through a focus on the livelihood opportunities and strategies of returnee trafficked women drawing on qualitative research carried out in Nepal. In particular, the Nepal case study examines the relationship between marriage and sustainable livelihood opportunities illustrating the complex relationship between what is regarded as acceptable and appropriate sexuality, constituted through marriage and motherhood, and unacceptable and inappropriate sexuality, which in this context is the returnee trafficked woman who, defined against the desired norm is typically judged, as a "prostitute", to be a "bad woman" who is "spoiled". The paper, finishes by outlining a new interdisciplinary research agenda for understanding how advocacy around "the sexual politics of poverty" and anti trafficking engage with the policies and practices associated with the new democracy in Nepal.