Anastasija Kaluzhny Wins Fulbright Fellowship
Anastasija Kaluzhny, who graduated with a biochemistry degree from Occidental College on May 18, has received a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to spend 10 months in Ukraine investigating the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation.
Kaluzhny also will compare the type of medical services offered to women through government-based, private, and religious organizations. She will focus particularly on the treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV and AIDS.
“The difficult economic conditions, rising unemployment, and changing social environment in the former Soviet republics, particularly Ukraine, have made young women of these nations easy targets for international sex dealers,” Kaluzhny says. “Trafficking not only affects the women, who are stripped of their basic human rights; the society as a whole is exposed to the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.”
She adds that 75 percent of the unemployed in Ukraine are women, who often are attracted to newspaper advertisements promising easy money in jobs abroad. “However, when they accept these jobs and arrive at their destinations, they are forced, often violently, to work in slave-like conditions in the local sex industry,” Kaluzhny said.
The Fair Lawn, N.J., resident will interview doctors and other healthcare providers in Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city. Kaluzhny, daughter of a Ukranian mother and Russian father, lived in the city for six years during childhood. The family immigrated to the United States in 1994.
Kaluzhny’s research will follow the same methodology as independent study she conducted in 2001 in Parma, Italy. There she investigated medical and social services for immigrant women. Kaluzhny hopes her latest research promotes worldwide public awareness and helps to develop a network of government-based and other organizations to stop the trafficking of women.
Kaluzhny eventually plans to attend medical school. She is the fourth Occidental student since 1998 to receive the Fulbright Scholarship. The award covers the cost of travel, education and living expenses. The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.