The Ramadhan fasting month is a holy month for Muslims, where people are encouraged to do more good deeds and refrain from consuming food, drink, or engaging in sexual activity. And this applies to sex workers as well.
“I fast. And I won’t accept any customers during the day,” Yuni (not her real name), 22, told The Jakarta Post on Friday. She said her job had nothing to do with her religious obligation.
“Fasting is a religious obligation that has to be obeyed, while my job is something that I have to do to survive,” she went on.
“A cleric once said that worldly and heavenly matters should be balanced, and that’s what I am trying to do,” said Yuni.
She added that during Ramadhan, she did not get as many customers as in regular months.
Another sex worker, Santi (not her real name), 25, said she became a sex worker due to the economic pressures she has as a single mom.
“Lebaran (Idul Fitri) is coming and I have children who always ask for new clothes and good food for Lebaran, just like in any other normal household. If I’m not working, then how can we celebrate Lebaran properly?” Santi said in a Cilacap detention center.
Santi was among the sex workers who were detained by public order officers during a raid on Thursday night.
She said she had divorced her unemployed husband, and now she was the breadwinner, and the backbone, of her family.
“Who wants this kind of job? But [if I don’t work] who will be responsible if my children die of hunger?” Santi said. (iwa)