In yesterday’s article, A Quick Introduction to Modern Slavery, we highlighted the fact that individuals and communities are often made vulnerable to modern slavery by three main factors. 1. Gender-based violence 2. poverty and 3. racial inequality/discrimination.
Today will focus on gender-based violence. Looking at its’ effects, and how it strengthens the shackles of modern enslavement.
Are Women More Likely to be Subjected to Modern Slavery?
If you have been following along with our series, you’ll recall that November 25th was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day was an important milestone toward combating the issue of violence. It was also a step towards recognition that women disproportionately fall victim to many human rights violations.
According to the 2017 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, women and young girls account for:
- 99% of forced labour victims in the commercial sex industry.
- 58% of victims of other forced labour sectors.
- 84% of forced marriage victims.
This makes them the overwhelming majority of the modern enslavement crisis.
The Gender Question. Why Is It Always Women?
This large disparity exists for many different reasons. One reason is the power imbalance between men and women found, and sometimes encouraged, in society. An example of this can be seen through certain family dynamics as they are structured, (whether intentionally or not) to restrict the individual autonomy of women.
As a result, we find usually women at the centre of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This kind of injustice is found in many cases of forced marriages, for instance, where the woman has been locked into a legal marriage without consent or even complete awareness.
Another reason for this injustice can be traced back to the human trafficking industry; a business that treats women and young girls as the main commodity.
Because of the misogynistic attitudes and views some hold towards women, women continue to be physically and emotionally degraded and sexualised. This mindset is the primary driving factor of the sex industry and human trafficking.
“Victims constitute the supply, and abusive employers or sexual exploiters represent the demand.”
- US State Department 2004 Research Report
As a result, women who are victims of the industry are exposed to many physical health problems as they are often starved, beaten, and sexually assaulted or raped. They also experience psychological and emotional issues as they face traumas beyond comprehension.
How Can I Help?
Unfortunately, here in Australia, many people don’t realise it, but modern slavery still very much exists. This is why it is extremely important for our community to establish a clear understanding of this issue. And we should gain a better sense of why it happens in order to strengthen awareness.
By immersing yourself in communities and resources that share this truth. Also read articles, stories, and solutions revolving around modern slavery. By doing this you are contributing to the fight against human rights violations and working towards freedom for all!
Written by: Charlene Moraleda
Pic by: @christianwinklercreative
Want to Make a Difference NOW?
High Teas for Humanity – Celebrate freedom on Human Rights Day (10th December) by coming to our High Tea or you could run your own high tea and fundraise for victims of violence in slavery in our Survivor School.
End of Year Giving – purchase from our shop and know that 100% of the profits from your purchase supports victims of violence in slavery in our survivor school.
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