Under Wraps, Prostitution Rife in North Afghanistan
May 22, 2008
Though strict Islamic law forbids it, more and more women in northern Afghanistan are turning to sex work to escape poverty, say doctors worried about the spread of HIV/AIDS.
"My father died in the civil war, my mum was a widow and I did not know what she did for work," said Nasrin, a 24-year-old sex worker in Kunduz, east of Mazar-i-Sharif. "Later I understood she was a prostitute. One day she encouraged me to have sex with a man who came to our house." Ashamed, Nasrin felt she had no choice. "I really wanted to be a good lady and live with my husband, but now everyone sees me as a prostitute."
"Because of poverty, women are doing this," said Malalai Usmani, head of the women's rights group Balkh. "The government and other organizations should launch awareness programs to let women know about the harm caused by prostitution."
05.18.2008; Tahir Qadiry
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.