Study highlights bar girls’ plight

Kathmandu, September 20:

A study shows that women working in cabin restaurants in the capital do not get remuneration according to the work they do and they are often subjected to sexual exploitation.

The study report entitled “Condition of Slavery among Women Working in Restaurants and Massage Parlours of Kathmandu Valley’’ which was made public by the Shakti Samuha here today shows that 85 per cent of the 300 women who participated in the study have not have their salaries raised or being promoted.

The report also shows that 93 per cent of the respondents are the victims of sexual misconduct by the clients and the remaining by the proprietors. It is stated in the study report that the women working in cabin restaurants and massage parlours draw a monthly salary in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.

Seventy-three percent of the respondents said they had to work unwillingly while the rest said they were working willingly. For extra income, they said, they visited customers for sex trade, did works like cleaning, had to sleep with customers and to go out for visits with the proprietors and managers.

The report showed that the largest number of these women workers was from Nuwakot district and the rest were from Kavre, Chitwan, Jhapa, Dhading, Sindhupalchowk, Makwanpur and Kaski.

These women who have to work for longer hours and who cannot leave work at will said they were brought to this profession through deception in course of studies. They said they are facing problems like use of force for taking them in possession, extreme economic exploitation or forcing them to work without pay, rape and sexual abuse.

Shakti Samuha carried out the study on women working in 120 cabin, Dohari and dance restaurants as well as massage parlours in Balaju, Gongabu, Mitra Park, Samakhusi, Kapurdhara, Thamel, Sundhara, Maharajgunj, Putalisadak, Chabahil, Gaushala, Gwarko, Balkumari, Satdobato, Lagankhel, Balkot, Surya Binayak and Thimi.

Chairperson of Shakti Samuha Januka Bhattarai said the the country alone should ensure secured employment and fixed standard of salary for these women who are compelled to work in cabin restaurants due to abject poverty.