Identifying 'everyday' challenges faced by former South African street-based prostituted women using photovoice and the risks for re-entry

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Prostitution in South Africa takes place within a unique context as it is set within a culture of violence, poverty and gender discrimination. For those women wanting to exit, this causes a multitude of barriers, with often a resultant entry-exit-re-entry cycle being seen. While much research has been done on their lives while still working and during the actual exiting process, insight into the challenges faced by these women within their unique context and daily lives once they have exited, is lacking. This can provide vital information regarding the possible risk factors present for re-entry, while having vast practical relevance for intervention programs. Eight former street-based prostituted women, currently within an exit cycle and members of a leadership program, were recruited to take part in this study. Using the Photovoice method, participants were asked to take photographs and develop a story of the challenges they faced within their daily lives. These photo stories, in conjunction with focus group discussions, were then analysed using thematic analysis, so as to develop an understanding of the most salient challenges faced by these women, and how they might serve as potential barriers to a sustained and successful exit from prostitution.

Includes bibliographical references.