Coordinating Council for Women in History 3
During the twentieth century, elite middle-and-upper class urban reformers were important agents in shaping the discourse on prostitution and influenced state policies on the sex industry for the working poor. Charting class-based anxieties and the burgeoning of the production of “scientific” studies on prostitution by social workers, anthropologists, medical professionals, and legal scholars, the panel also contributes to histories of class relations in the region. While political conditions and the legal status of women employed in the sex industry varied between Iran and Egypt, the fragmentation of public space became a stable policy during this period.
The panel engages with the following questions: How did the discourse on prostitution in Iran and Egypt shape local policies directed at the sex industry? What role did the religious establishment play? And ultimately, how did women employed in the sex industry manage and navigate these at time conflicting, and shifting, policies.