Job talk ‘I DO NOT WORK: I DO COMMERCIAL SEX WORK’: AMBIGUITIES IN THE DISCOURSE AND PRACTICE OF SELLING SEX IN MOMBASA, KENYA
‘I Do Not Work: I Do Commercial Sex Work’: Ambiguities in the Discourse and Practice of Selling Sex in Mombasa, Kenya
Thursday, March 3, 9:00 am - 10:00 am, Gellner room
Building on the narratives of women selling sex in Mombasa, the presentation will show how the livelihoods and strategies of women who self-identify as sex workers are influenced by the discourses and activities of the NGO sector, the sex workers’ movement, and international tourism on the one hand, and by their struggle for survival and personal advancement on the other hand. More specifically, while the term ‘sex industries’ or ‘sex workers’—as used by a number of local and international actors — is partly internalized by women selling sex, these terms obscure the more complicated realities of women who seek to secure income for their households.
I am interested in the political economy of development, gender, sexualities and African politics. My research has explored how neo-liberalism influenced practices and discourses affect social, economic and gender structures; and how women in disadvantaged positions within these systems attempt to manoeuvre them for their own survival and advancement.
My doctoral research has focused on Kenya, used a gender lens and relied on the life-stories of self-identified sex workers of Mombasa to explore the political economy of Kenya and the limits of women’s agency within it. I currently work on a new project exploring the activism and politics of East African sex workers' movements. Before joining Bristol in 2015, I taught International Development, Political Economy and African Politics related modules at the Universities of Leeds and Warwick. I hold a BA in Economics (Vilnius University), a MSc in International Development (University of Bristol) and a PhD in Politics (University of Leeds).