Environment
Where abandoned women become prostitutes
  • | Tuoi Tre | May 24, 2011 06:00 AM

A coastal hamlet in the central province of Binh Thuan has the dubious distinction of attracting abandoned women who do sex work for a living.

Two children of Hong feed each other at the doorstep of their hut while their mother was waiting for more clients

For 20 years now, many women in Buc Lo, Tuy Phong district, whose husbands have deserted them, have been offering sexual services to long-distance truck drivers.

Reporters came to the house of Hong, 27, lives in a small shanty with her mother, eight-year-old son and three-year-old daughter.

Inside is just a small bed with a curtain.

Hong says her husband left two years ago since she could not earn enough from her work.

Danh, her mother, says many other women in the village share the same fate as Hong: “Their husbands abandoned them when their children were born.”

Since Danh moved to Buc Lo with her children 20 years ago, 30 others have come, all with children.

There are more than 70 children who have no idea who their fathers are, Danh says.

Hong’s daughter nods when asked if she misses her father, saying however that she does not know how to find him.

“But I’m not teased at school for this since many of my friends do not have fathers either,” she says.

Hong says she only works in the afternoon when the kids are at school.

“Since my kids love to study, I’ll continue sending them to school as long as I can afford it,” she says.

Pham Thien Thanh, 13, and his sister Pham Bich Ngoc, eight, have to walk five kilometres everyday to go to school.

Tran Thi Nhung, their mother, says her husband abandoned the family seven years ago.

“He visited the kids last year and promised to buy them a bicycle, but he has yet to come back,” she says.

Most of the kids usually drop out, she says.

The younger kids work as fish porters if they quit school, she says.

“But I am afraid the older girls will have nothing to do but to work like their mothers.”

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