Social Power(lessness) of Women in Prostitution in the Balkan States


Dragana Peјović

Abstract:

The overwhelming view of prostitution as a socially unacceptable behaviour and a phenomenon demolishing social values has brought about a negative social stance towards women in prostitution throughout the Balkan states. Linking prostitution to various forms of criminality has contributed to the fact that prostitution within the Balkan region is studied from a primarily criminal legal aspect, while women engaging in prostitution are seen as persons of deviant behaviour. Prostitution is a complex social phenomenon, therefore analysing it from only a criminal legal aspect is one-sided and insufficient for its full comprehension – gender, historic and sociological aspects are essential in order not to view prostitution as a mere criminal activity. Before engaging in the analysis of prostitution and the position of women in prostitution from a gender aspect, it is inevitable to look into the legislation, which governs this domain. The objects of this research are the laws, which regulate prostitution in three neighbouring countries of the Balkans – the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of Croatia. Apart from the legal rimes of the aforementioned states, the analysis will also focus on the legislation of the Netherlands, as a jurisdiction, which has legalized prostitution, and of Sweden, as a state, which has decriminalized and regulated prostitution in a unique way. The objective of the present paper is to present prostitution from a gender perspective, with a special focus on the degree to which the laws of Balkan states are affecting the gender aspect of prostitution, as well as the overall position of women in prostitution in the Balkan region.

Keywords:

Balkan states, the position of women in prostitution, misdemeanour laws, prostitution, gender perspective

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