Pragati: an empowerment programme for female sex workers in Bangalore, India

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Pragati: an empowerment programme for female sex workers in Bangalore, India

Co-Action Publishing
  • India
  • Hiv
  • Public Health
  • Ra
  • Empowerment
  • Community Health
  • Female Sex Workers
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Syndromic Case Management


Objectives: To describe the effects of a broad empowerment programme among female sex workers (FSWs) in Bangalore, India, which seeks to develop the capacities of these women to address the issues that threaten their lives and livelihoods.Design: This study is based on a comprehensive, on-going HIV-prevention and empowering programme, known as Pragati, which reaches out to approximately 10,000-12,000 FSWs in Bangalore each year. The programme has been designed in collaboration with the sex worker community and provides a personalised set of services, which include STI prevention and treatment services, crisis-response facilities, de-addiction services, and microfinance support all of which have been tailored to adequately fulfil each woman’s needs. During the period examined by this study, the programme reached out to 20,330 individual FSWs [median (IQR) age 28 (24-35) years]. The programme’s personal records of the participating FSWs were used for this descriptive study.Results: Between 2005 and 2010, the number of participating FSWs increased from 2,307 to 13,392. These women intensified their contact with the programme over time: the number of programme contacts increased from 10,351 in 2005 to 167,709 in 2010. Furthermore, data on the effects of crisis-response facilities, de-addiction and microfinance services, condom distribution schemes, and STI diagnosis and treatment showed an accumulating involvement of the participating FSWs in these programme services.Conclusion: This programme, which focuses on social and economic empowerment among FSWs, is successful in reaching and involving the target population.Keywords: HIV; female sex workers; sexually transmitted infections; India; empowerment; syndromic case management(Published: 27 November 2012)Citation: Glob Health Action 2012, 5: 19279 -

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