Shabnam is 22 years old. She has been a sex worker for the last four years. She came to the brothel when she was 18. She is from Barisal in Southern Bangladesh. Shabnam has one daughter, but she is not living with her in the brothel. Her daughter is living outside with some relatives in Barisal. Her husband died some years ago, and she became a sex worker. He died in a road accident, and she was then trafficked to the brothel. She did not decide herself to become a sex worker. Somebody gave her the job, but she is hoping for better opportunities. She do not like this profession and would like a better job. Shabnam is trying to get a better job. That is her dream. Shabnam has 4-5 customers on average per day. Many of the customers are regular ones, but there are also customers she has not seen before. Her earnings depend on the customers. On average she is earning around 500 taka (app. 6 USD) per day, otherwise she cannot afford the rent of her room in the brothel. Per day she has to pay 200 taka in rent. It is expensive to rent the room. Some days she can save a bit of money, but it is not much. During the last five days, she has been sick and has not been able to earn money. Before she was earning more, maybe 4000-5000 taka per day. But the brothel mother took the money. Mama took everything.
In her cupboard in the room, she keeps her cosmetics. That is also expensive. Same for buying cloth. She can only save very little money. She has rented the room for the last five months. Before she was renting another room in the brothel area. She do not know for how long she will stay here. If she gets a better chance, she will try to get another place to stay.
She has applied for a field facilitator job with a NGO. Whether she succeed in getting a another job, she do not know.
From Sex Workers in Bangladesh