Life of Street Girls and great issue of AIDS
Mon Feb 5, 2007 00:09

Life of Street Girls and great issue of AIDS

The phenomenon of street children and girls has been a major concern for most areas of Dhaka city. Thousands of street children and girls all over in Bangladesh, primarily in the urban areas, work and live in the streets. Urban poverty, increasing dissatisfaction with the public educational system together with the difficult living conditions and broken families has led to a growing problem of street children and girls. Different categories of children in especially difficult circumstances can be identified; some of them maintain family links while undertaking apprenticeship or street hawking to help their family survive, while others are completely cut off from their family , making the streets or park their home and community.

Life in the streets is hard and unsafe, especially for a girl who, in the first place, has no business being there - begging, selling flowers, drinking-water, chocolate or toffee, sometimes even their bodies. Street girls are vulnerable to all sorts of risks: the reckless motorist; the abusive police officer; the drug, crime, and prostitution syndicates; even the bigger, older street boys who taunt or intimidate them. Despite these, or maybe even because of these, most street girls develop both a resistance to destruction and a capacity for positive construction. These are the two components of resilience – the capacity to do well in spite of difficult circumstances.

There are many teen girls living on the streets, some are living with parents and few of along. Several spot of Dhaka city where we can see easily, such as Kamolapur railway, Shodorgat river port, Polashi bazaar etc. They lived in a very ill position. Sometimes we find Floating Sex Workers (FSWs) also live with them.

Teen girls living on the streets experience most of the same problems as FSWs and, in addition, are frequently subjected to sexual violence. 'Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation' recently reported that 70 percent of street girls have been victims of sexual abuse, while another study by 'LRB Foundation' puts the figure as high as 80 percent. One study by ' Several Education And Polli Development Association-SEPDA' found that girls who turn to the streets are generally younger than street boys. Street girls are often invisible because they do not travel around in city at night as FSWs do, staying generally on their own or in small family.

As mention Prof. Abdul Quader Palash, "Street girls are seen as a socio-economy phenomenon rather then a social category - a phenomenon created by social systems, gender rules, political and economic".

A 2005 survey by Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation on sexual activity among street girls underscored that street girls are extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). More than half of the boys interviewed and more than three quarters of the girls, including 20 percent of those under fifteen, admitted they were sexually active. Sixty-one percent of the boys said they had forced a girl to have sex with them.

Some times street girls and Floating sex workers are closely associated with the terminal, port and transport industries where they find a large supply of potential clients and customers. Terminal, Train station and port, which provides additional clients for floating sex workers as well as street girls get enough customer for selling something or bagging, This link diverts them for nasty-work and continuous sexual irritation help to take fast step of them. Being obviously related, Street girls and Floating Sex Workers (FSWs) were not regarded as complex social phenomenon in Bangladesh. There are no monitoring and no logical studies of why street girls gradually become FSWs in Bangladesh.


LRB report `2005, UNICEF, FHI, CARE, Street children online, SEPDA research report

Mohammad Khairul Alam
Executive Director
Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation
No. 24/3 M. C. Roy Lane
City- Dhaka
PO. COD- 1211
Country- Bangladesh

Tell: 880-2-8628908
Mobile: 880-01711344997

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