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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Prostitutes: Vendors of Another Type
Author:Muzvidziwa, Victor N.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Labor and Employment
Health and Nutrition
Women's Issues
social problems
Abstract:Using anthropological field data collected in 1994-1995, the author explores prostitution in one of Zimbabwe's major towns, Masvingo, and describes prostitutes' life situations, motivations and future plans. He details their social and working lives, their self-definition as 'vasikana vebasa' (working girls), their relationships with other prostitutes, the kinds of social networks they establish, their clients, incomes and expenditure patterns. He concludes that prostitution is largely a 'hanging-on' strategy, adopted by a minority of women within the context of a declining market. Prostitutes consider prostitution as a short-lived 'career'. It does not offer an opportunity to accumulate capital for investment purposes. Income generation depends on useful advice about prostitution market niches. Options for prostitutes are not that many. Although prostitutes themselves repeatedly refer to the similarity between their job and the work of food vendors, there is public stigmatization of prostitutes and they are generally seen not just as 'vendors of another type'. Bibliogr., notes, sum.