Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Selling Sex in Kenya

Selling Sex in Kenya
Gendered Agency under Neoliberalism


  • Publication planned for: December 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108494052

£ 75.00

Pre-order Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • As Kenyan women traditionally have fewer formal employment opportunities, often occupying lower-paid jobs in the informal sector, the experiences of women who earn money in unorthodox ways can offer revealing insights into the agency of women and its limits. Grounded in the narratives and life stories of women selling sex in Kenya, Eglė Česnulytė reveals the range of gendered and gendering effects that neoliberal policies have on everyday socio-political realities. By contextualising and historicising contemporary debates in the field, this important interdisciplinary study explores the societal structures that neo-liberal narratives and reforms influence, their gendered effects, and the extent to which individuals must internalise neoliberal economic logics in order to make or improve their living. In so doing, Česnulytė counters the prevailing male-dominated studies in political science to place women, and female-based narratives at the forefront.

    • Uses primary accounts from women selling sex in Kenya as a starting point to think not only about gender in Kenya, but about gender in global neoliberal structures
    • Counters prevailing male-dominated studies in political science to place women, and female-based narratives, at the forefront
    • Will appeal primarily to scholars of international development, feminist political economy and sociology, with further implications for policy makers studying the impact of sex work, prostitution and human trafficking
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'An outstanding contribution to the understanding of sex work in Kenya in the context of neoliberalism. Egle Cesnulyte explores with immense analytical heft, and on the basis of extensive ethnography, how sex work can be a way for women to accumulate capital and to sustain livelihood strategies as part of reproductive labour. A must read.' Ray Bush, University of Leeds

    'This excellent analysis of how female sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya, experience and challenge socio-economic realities provides critical insight into their lives; how they exercise agency in 'tight corners'; and the gendered impact of neo-liberal practice and discourse. A must read for anyone interested in gender, everyday political economy or neoliberalism.' Gabrielle Lynch, University of Warwick

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Publication planned for: December 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108494052
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Neo-liberal transformations and gender in Kenya
    3. Gendered livelihoods and 'bargaining with patriarchy'
    4. Selling sex in Mombasa
    5. Dreams and strategies of women selling sex
    6. A vicious circle: work-related dangers and obstacles for exiting sex work
    7. Connecting global and local: Kenyan state, NGOs and the sex worker movement
    8. Conclusions: gendered limits of agency in a neo-liberal world.

  • Author

    Eglė Česnulytė, University of Bristol
    Eglė Česnulytė is Lecturer in Politics and International Development in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) at the University of Bristol and Deputy Director of the Gender Research Centre at the University of Bristol. Her research has been published in journals including Development and Change, Review of African Political Economy and New Political Economy.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.