Last week, Habiba Sultana was presented with the New Zealand Asian Studies Society (NZASS) Conference Postgraduate Prize for her paper ‘Sex as ‘work’: the Bangladeshi Context.
Habiba, who has been completing a PhD fill-time with the School of Justice since 2014, said the prize topped a big year in which she also published two papers in international journals. The prize, which included cash, a one year subscription to the NZASS and its journal, now in its eighteenth year of production, also includes an invitation from the editor to submit the winning paper for review and possible publication.
The paper drew on fieldwork Habiba carried out in a Bangladeshi brothel in 2014. Habiba stated “much of what we know about sex work is derived from Western perspectives, but the structure of the sex industry in Bangladesh is very distinct from that encountered elsewhere. My work attempts to account for the everyday, lived experiences of women in the brothel, which I hope will contribute to the feminist literature from a South Asian or ‘Southern’ perspective”.
Habiba Sultana (right) with Professor Tanika Sarkar of Jawaharlal Nehru University.