Share
twitterlinkedinfacebook
Image 1 of 1
Brothel_AJ15.JPG
Pakhi (meaning "Bird" in Bangla) waits for customers on the 3rd floor of the Joinal Bari brothel in Faridpur, central Bangladesh. "I am 22 years old and I have been working in this brothel for two years. I was married for four years but my husband was crazy so I ran away. When I moved back in with my parents my uncle took me to Dhaka. He told me he was going to enroll me in a dance school but instead he sold me to a madame. I am not scared of anyone. Sometimes this place is okay, sometimes it's not, but anything is better than living with my husband. I don't talk with my parents anymore. I miss them, but what can I do? I feel like Alyea (my madame) is my own mother. I love her and this is like my family. I dream of being a madame someday.".About 800 women and girls live and work inside the bustling brothel, comprised of four buildings situated on an important trading route on the banks of the Padma river. Many of chowkri (bonded sex workers) are underage. Some of the girls are runaways who leave home to escape a bad situation or marriage, and end up on the brothels when they have no where else to go. Many others have been kidnapped and sold to a madame by a parent or relative. They must take on 5-10 clients per day, and most receive no pay because they must repay their debt to their madame. ..