For the uninitiated, ‘night girls‘ is an insult for any women working late. But for those who know what they are getting into, it is a very serious business. Karachi’s swanky restaurants and cafes boast of such girls on regular occasions.
The term ‘night girls’ is generally used to refer to sex workers. But in certain areas in Pakistan it has also come to include those from the serv
ice industries and streetwalkers. Karachi is notorious for the crime and corruption that surround it. It is no wonder then that the word has acquired a negative connotation. But is this really true?
Karachi is a hub for all types of businesses. There are many middle-class ladies who work in the streets selling coffee, tea and other commodities. They are known as ‘night traders’. But these girls are also considered ‘night girls’ by those who hire them for the purposes of prostitution.
The word ‘night girls’ was coined as a way of describing how these girls earn their livelihood. But this is not entirely true. It is estimated that there are up to 100 night girls working in the various coffee and tea shops in the city. The youngest of these is around 18 years old. Some of the older girls, most likely married, are earning good money at their jobs.
These girls do not necessarily come from a lower class or a deprived family. There is a steady stream of intelligent, well-to-do families who hire girls for the purposes of making their living and earning money. The girls are not poorly educated and come from middle-class families.
So the question of why these girls have come to work in the coffee and tea shops of the city should not be asked. Rather, it should be asked why anyone would want to hire such a girl. Is it because they work hard, or because they think they are easy to manage? Or, is it because they are exotic and beautiful and the men who choose them are attracted by their charms?
But there is one reason why everyone hires them they are very cheap. They can be hired on a daily wage, which means a few pennies per hour. And that is just right for the owners of the coffee and tea shops. These girls, especially those who have been working for several months, are the cheapest labour available anywhere.
Night girls are hired mainly because they make their owners look good. This is how it goes in any country. If you are seen cruising about in a red bikini and drinking heavily, or even if you are holding a rolled up magazine and flashing your tongue around, you are more or less instantly regarded as a ‘bikini icon’. This makes you look cool, and women always want to try out new things. So when you hire a girl, she will feel wanted and will try her best to attract the guys.
In the nightclubs where women and girls at work, they will dance all night long, and after the night is over, they get up and go home with all the money. The owner of the club might throw some money in her general direction, but it will not be a lot. After all, most of the club owners take their cut from the dancers who work all night, so why shouldn’t the girls? After all, they are the ones getting drunk and having a great time.
So the fact is that most of these girls are either single or are used to being single, so they are used to going out with just anyone. That is just the way it is in any big city. The fact is that it is not easy to find a good honest girl to spend the night with, so the ‘nighties’ are here to make life easier for them. After all, they do work the second hand market, and if you have anything to sell, then you should sell it to them, and not the other way around.
The girls work all night, because it is what they do. It is not easy being a dancer in a club, because most of the dancers there have jobs, and they have families to feed. So the chances of them going out at night are almost nil. If they don’t mind working all night then they can make enough money to support themselves.
The other reason that they are easy to come by is that they don’t need much money. They will work for as little as $25 an hour, and some of them will do as little as a dollar. That is what they are there for, to make some easy money, and to have a good time at the same time. If you offer them a real paying job, such as being a dancer at one of the larger nightclubs, then they will see it as better than working for a dollar an hour.