The phenomenon of prostitution in the Philippines has increased in magnitude and complexity in the face of worsening poverty in the Philippines.
As early as the country’s colonization by the Spaniards in the 1600s, the Americans and the Japanese in the 1900s, women’s bodies have been sold, commodified, exploited, abused, and prostituted. As of 2017, it is estimated that there are some 800,000 women and children in prostitution in the Philippines. Across the world more than 13,800,000 women are up for sale in bars, clubs, entertainment establishments and the streets. In Davao City alone, there are currently around 4,000 women and children in prostitution, 50% of whom are girls under 18 years old.
Women and girls are pushed into the sex trade and into sex trafficking primarily due to a lack of employment and opportunities and eroding incomes. And in times of greater crisis, the sex trade looms as a dismal option for many of them. The country’s import-dependent and export-driven economy has trapped the Filipino people in a cycle of economic crisis and poverty. Poverty, in turn, breeds prostitution.
Most vulnerable for prostitution in the Philippines are girls and women born into poverty or dysfunctional families, both in rural areas, where agriculture offers barely enough income, and in poor urban areas. Especially vulnerable are those formerly sexually or physically abused. At the same time, victims of prostitution face abuse and many other problems, such as sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancies and abortions, discrimination and substance abuse.
After all, prostitution is a business, made possible by hiring agencies or pimps, which emphasizes the stark contrast between men’s sex-buying power and women’s lack of economic opportunities. In fact, prostitution generates 6 Billion USD of annual revenues worldwide.
Talikala – Who we are
Talikala was born in response to the challenge of helping prostituted women and empowering them to break free from their “enslavement.”
Talikala is a Cebuano word for chain. It is a symbol of women bonding together to set free the chains of oppression and exploitation that shackle women in prostitution.
Vision, Mission & Goal
Talikala envisions gender-fair relations between women and men, who enjoy equality and full participation towards the development of peoples and society.
As a non-stock, nonprofit social development organization, Talikala commits itself to
… develop the capabilities of prostituted women
… help prostituted women assert their rights, regain their dignity, and define their role in the society
… create venues for public education in order to change public perception towards prostituted women
Hence, it is Talikala’s goal to improve the quality of life of women who are victims and survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution.
To promote gender equity and justice in society;
To enhance prostituted women’s opportunities for self-sufficiency;
To improve the reproductive condition of women in prostitution;
To create and provide support systems through networking and advocacy for women in prostitution.