Fortællinger fra Ugandas sexarbejdermiljø

Jannie Krogstrup & Helle Hye Secher Marcussen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis explores sex work, sex worker conditions, and cultural contextuality based on one month of fieldwork conducted in Kampala, Uganda in November-December 2013. The field study includes insight into the sex worker environment and the work of relevant NGOs in Kampala as well as local cultures and traditions. With a combination of informant life stories, interviews and informal movements, observations, and conversations in parts of the sex worker environment in Kampala, the methodology of the project is empirically based and inspired by Life Story Approach and narrative research. Thus, this thesis intends to expand knowledge about Ugandan sex workers, their views on the challenges they face, and the goals they strive for or achieve. On the basis of a Ugandan context, the aims are then to contribute to current research and literature on sex work in a developing country. The issue of poverty is not questioned as we consider poverty to be an embedded aspect of sex work in several developing countries with Uganda being no exception. Instead, our analysis relates to structures as well as cultural and traditional aspects that could help refine and deepen the perception of the relation between sex work, poverty, and development. The life stories of our informants are placed at the heart of the analysis and will point to the three analytical themes of Marriage, Stigma, and Agency. These themes are seen to be central themes in the women's personal stories and will be analyzed using current relevant research and theoretical understandings. Furthermore, implicitly in the empirical data appears the criminalization of sex work as an important issue to be discussed. The stories of our informants show their strategies, levels of agency, and vulnerabilities. In conclusion, this indicates that one can not refer to sex workers as a homogenous group as there appears to be significant differences between the individuals who operate in sex worker environments both mutually and within different localities. Furthermore, the study shows that the local context should be taken into account in order to gain a diverse understanding of the sex work phenomenon, which is important to challenge often predominant and universalist narratives.

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 apr. 2014
VejledereEric Komlavi Hahonou


  • kvinder
  • udvikling
  • sexarbejde
  • Uganda