Commercial Sex Work or Ukuphanda? Sex-for-Money Exchange in Soweto and Hammanskraal Area, South Africa
- Cite this article as:
- Wojcicki, J.M. Cult Med Psychiatry (2002) 26: 339. doi:10.1023/A:1021291922026
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This article introduces the conceptof ukuphanda, a Zulu verb that is used todescribe the sex-for-money exchanges that takeplace outside of commercial sex work in Sowetoand Hammanskraal area, South Africa. In linewith the ethnographic literature from othersareas of sub-Saharan Africa, it is argued thatwomen who exchange sex for money in taverns donot self-identify as commercial sex workers andexperience less stigma from the community. Unlike commercial sex work (as characterized bythe commercial sex work in Hillbrow,Johannesburg), which is understood to beassociated with short skirts and otherrevealing attire, sex-for-money exchange in thetaverns is viewed as more private, ambiguousand informal. Women who work as informal sexworkers, or “-phandela imali” (“tryto get money”), are understood to be usingsex-for-money exchange to survive financially.