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Illegal drug use and prostitution among women have been a problem for several years in developing nations. These practices expose them to health conditions such as malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and high blood pressure. Despite knowledge of these effects, most victims assert that it is difficult to avoid stop these activities due to high unemployment rates, poverty, and improper family ties. There is a close connection between illegal drug use and prostitution with some asserting that prostitutes are highly susceptible to the use of illegal substances because their trade encompasses continuous interaction with criminals. On the other hand, substance abuse forces women to engage in prostitution to get funds to purchases these substances. In this regard, it is evident that illegal drug use and prostitution among women in developing countries is still high.
Substance abuse among women in developing nations such as Kenya and Iran was significantly lower than that of men. However, these figures have risen significantly over the recent years due to poor education, increased poverty levels, and lack of employment. In some cases, the women engaging in the sale of trade comprise those from vulnerable groups. Khan et al. (2010) mention that increased poverty levels among the Pakistan women force them to engage in the illegal trade to meet their family needs as well as pay bills. They often camp along busy streets late in the night since the trade is illegal in the country.
Additionally, women engaging in the sale of sex to move up the socioeconomic ladder and this trade provides the fastest and easiest alternative to their goals and objectives. Monroe (2005) also shares similar findings mentioning that materialism has contributed to the increased sex trade in developing countries. Some of their colleagues lead expensive lifestyles and attribute their success to the trade. With such conversations taking center stage in these societies, it is difficult to make these groups of people conceptualize that there are alternative approaches to success, and one should not demean herself through such activities.
Lack of education also contributes to the increased prevalence of prostitution and drug abuse among women in developing countries. Monroe (2005) asserts that the lack of improper education frameworks undermines the efforts to increase the number of women to acquire skills and knowledge that will enable them to engage in moral and ethical activities to earn a living. Additionally, the lack of adequate education undermines their conceptualization of the long and short-term implications of drug abuse to their bodies and their families as a whole. These women are easily tricked into the use and sale of illegal drugs as they assume that drugs will assist in reducing their stress levels as well as curing some of their chronic illnesses. By the time they know it, they are buried in the trade.
Moreover, Khajedaluee, Dadgarmoghaddam, Erfanian, Alipourtabrizi, and Khadem-Rezaiyan, (2015) assert that the lack of sex education in Arab countries such as Iran renders children susceptible to the practice. Teachers and parents avoid discussing the topic as they believe it is a taboo. From their findings, the authors established that children as young as 12 years old engage in the trade due to lack of guidance and counsel from their parents and teachers. Upon entry, they discover that the trade exposes them to great risks.
Furthermore, the lack of employment opportunities has forced women to engage in prostitution. Recent studies have shown that Ghana has the highest unemployment rates in Africa. With this trends, there has been a sharp rise in the rats of prostitution and illegal drug and substance abuse in the country. To both the young and old women, these practices offer an alternative approach to meeting their daily needs such as rent, food, and health services. Additionally, young girls are easily lured into the trade upon completion of school because they are promised that they will earn huge returns from the trade. In some cases, some needy parents force their children into the business by encouraging them to solicit for sex from sugar daddies who will give them money to support their family. Thus, it is evident that the decrease in employment opportunities in developing countries made illegal substance use and trade as well as prostitution the alternative approach to meeting their daily needs.
Prostitution and illegal drug use among women have social implications on the society. The sex trade in the community undermines gender equality and balance by encouraging the objectification of women. In the recent years, the government of Iran fosters the implementation of policies that encourage the provision of equal opportunities to women. However, with the continued rise in prostitution activities, men who buy these services begin to view women as objects of sexual satisfaction and not human beings. This attitude and perception of women explain the increased cases of violence and murder at the workplace. For instance, in Ghana, there has been a sharp rise in the violation of women rights and privileges due to their objectification by men. In this regard, it is evident that increased prostitution in developing countries encourages the oppression of women in the society.
Besides, illegal drug use and prostitution promote criminal activities in the society. Women posing as traders play a significant role in the sale, distribution, and use of illegal substances. Crimes such as robbery with violence, money laundering, and the sale of drugs thrive in areas where the sex trade is high. Derefinko, Bursac, Mejia, Milich, and Lynam, (2017) mention that brothels act as delivery and pick up points for potential clients. In most cases, the sale of drugs is conducted in close quarters, and the brothel acts as the face of the business. Without addressing such issues, more young girls will be attracted by these activities owing to its substantial financial returns. Thus, illegal drug use and prostitution among women in developing countries encourage the prevalence of crime because the addicts will be forced to look for alternative approaches to raise money and purchase the drugs.
Furthermore, increased infections of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases among women and men are promoted by prostitution and drug and substance abuse. Initially, only young girls took part in these activities due to peer pressure and materialism. However, the number of old and married women attracted to this trade has risen significantly owing to the reduced unemployment rates and the high cost of leaving. Most of them are young mothers without jobs and deem the sale of sex appropriate. In the long run, these multiple sex partners infect them with sexually transmitted diseases and infection that they later pass on to their spouses. These practices explain the growing rise in the number of orphans due to the death of their parents from sexually transmitted infections. At the same time, while administering these abused substances, the addicts use injections. With this approach, the risk of infection from various ailments is significantly high as one comes into contact with blood that may contain viruses leading to illness. In this regard, it is vivid, that illegal drug abuse and prostitution have resulted in the increased spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections among households.
Developing nations face numerous challenges due to the rise in the sex trade and substance abuse among women. It is essential for governments to develop and implement strategies that will curb these practices. The empowerment of women will assist in improving their socioeconomic status as they will have more access to employment and business opportunities. Companies and organizations should provide training and education to women especially from marginalized communities to enhance their competitiveness in the job market. Studies have shown that women can play a pivotal role in a country’s economic growth by fostering innovation and growth through the inclusion of their ideas and perspective in the decision-making process. It also enhances their conceptualization of the adverse implications of such practices to their health and families. Therefore, empowering women will assist in decreasing illegal drug use and prostitution among women as it will reduce their vulnerability to these practices.
In addition, the implementation of stringent rules and regulations by the governments in developing countries will make women avoid crime. Most women are unaware of the implications of illegal drug use and prostitution. Others are not afraid of being caught in the act because they believe that they will pay the imposed penalty and go back to the business. However, when these regulations are revised, it will be easy to arrest and charge individuals engaging in these activities, translating to low crime rates in the society. Thus, it is evident that the implementation of stringent regulations and las is pivotal in the fight against prostitution and illegal substance abuse because the law is critical in maintaining order and ethical practices in the community.
To sum up, illegal drug abuse and prostitution among women in developing countries has had adverse implications on social and economic growth and development. The number of women participating in the trade has risen sharply due to increased poverty levels, the lack of employment, and inadequate education. Despite being aware of the implications of these practices, they view that it offers a fast solution to solving their financial and family demands. Prostitution has contributed to increased drug abuse, criminal activities, and gender inequity. Men are the countries despise women as the trade has made them to view them as sexual objects and not human beings. The implementation of the strategies mentioned above and approaches will improve the socioeconomic status of women and decrease their susceptibility to indulging in these illegal and immoral activities. Through increased training and education, they can secure employment and tend to the needs of their households. Thus, developing countries should strive to curb the prevalence of substance abuse and prostitution among women to realize high social and economic growth rates.
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