Sex Work and Social Inequalities in the Health of Foreign Migrant Women in Almeria, Spain
García-Cano Torrico, María
PublisherUniversitaea "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" din Iasi
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This paper is part of a broader study about prostitution among foreign migrant women in the province of Almeria, Spain. The specific aim of the paper is to analyse the different profiles of women working in the sex industry and interpret the social determinants that generate social inequalities in their health. The ethnographic research was conducted in different settings involved in the sex industry (clubs, private apartments, bars, immigrant settlements, and street prostitution) between 2009 and 2012 as part of the “Damage Reduction and Health Promotion” programme run by the NGO Medicos del Mundo. The research tools used were standardised and in-depth interviews conducted with sex workers, and observation in their working environments. Findings show that the main markers for major inequalities in terms of the health of women and the use of healthcare services available are: gender (being a woman), status as an immigrant, social class, level of education, and geographical area. This study argues the need to design programmes in local contexts of bio-psycho-social healthcare aimed at women who work as prostitutes with low earnings and very limited social support networks with a view to impacting on their safety, education and living conditions, as well as their lifestyles, and their physical and psychological health.