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‘The Search for a Farang’ – Gender Based Violence and Women’s Involvement in Tourism-Related Prostitution in Pattaya, Thailand

Having worked for some years with women involved in prostitution in Ireland I went to Pattaya, Thailand in 2005. Here I encountered a prostitution industry on a scale I had never encountered before, catering mainly for the tourist market. As I got to know some of the women involved, I discovered that, while much was similar to the reality of the women I had worked with in Dublin, for example experiences of violence, there were also significant differences. The most striking of these, for me, was how finding a foreign husband seemed to be the women’s medium to long term goal in almost all incidences.

This thesis explores the experiences of gender-based violence of women involved in tourism-related prostitution in Pattaya City, Thailand. It asks what the factors are, from the women’s own perspectives, that influence their involvement in this form of prostitution. It examines the social and cultural influences and the influences that previous personal relationships play in that decision. It looks at the themes emerging in terms of poverty and gender, and gender-based violence in particular. It also looks at the women’s perceptions of foreign (Farang) men as compared to Thai men and why they are willing to take the enormous risk of involvement in prostitution in the hope of a long-term relationship with a Farang.

 

Margaret Lynch 2009

 

Permanent link to this article: http://kimmagedsc.ie/dissertation/gender-based-violence-prostitution-thailand/