Tania Rashid Speaks Up for the Silenced

According to Action Aid, there are about 200,000 female sex workers in Bangladesh–one of the few largely Islamic countries where prostitution is legal and so are brothels.

The largest Bangladeshi brothel and the largest bordello in the world, Daulatdia, has more than 1,300 sex workers and services more than 3,000 men daily. It is one of the 20 officially sanctioned brothels in Bangladesh, which opened around 1988, although it had unofficially been operating for decades prior to its legality.

While the average age of consent for new sex workers in Daulatdia is 14, many are younger and are sold into sex work for about £200 ($300), an amount they are then indebted to pay to their pimps, who are mostly older women. The cycle of work perpetuates, as boys born and raised in the brothels tend to become pimps and girls continue in their mothers’ profession.

Journalist Tania Rashid’s latest documentary production with Vice News, “Sex, Slavery, and Drugs in Bangladesh,“ gives appalling insight into Daulatdia’s daily happenings. In conversation with Rashid, she reveals how she chose to embark on an often precarious path to uncover injustice.

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