Exploitation of Women in the Developing World

Topics: Prostitution, Human trafficking, Sex industry Pages: 8 (2869 words) Published: June 12, 2005
The modern world today is proud to recognize the equality that has been acknowledged between age, gender, and race. Women are beginning to be treated as equals with men, in new customs, lifestyle, society, and economy. Today, women are freer and are liberated from their traditional roles as housewives, and are pursuing their hopes and dreams. However, this is not the case in many regions of the world. In the developing countries, thousands of females are dehumanized by prostitution and the trafficking of women and children is dehumanizing which serves only to benefit men. It exploits and violates the rights of women in the developing world. Sexual exploitation, which includes sex tourism, bride trade, temporary marriages, and sexual violence such as rape, incest, and sexual harassment, has escalated throughout the 20th century and has become an enormous concern. Today, slavery is defined as a "social and economic relationship in which a person is controlled through violence or its threat, paid nothing, and economically exploited…sex trafficking is a modern day form of slavery" (Bales). The reason why governments do not help the women in prostitution is because the sex industry generates profits amounting to billions of dollars, necessary to pay off the country's debts. The governments convince themselves, and the public, that they help facilitate women's employment opportunities and statistics by legitimizing prostitution. Politically vulnerable and economically weak countries were opened up as tourist destinations, and large numbers or male tourists bought sexual adventure in foreign countries as the businesses of the sex tourism were established. The promotion of sex tourism generated generous amounts of income for the sex industry as well as for the government, due to the vacations that people from developed countries take to take advantage of these foreign prostitutes. In some cultures, the established role of females has been long facilitated by the traditional systems of religion, resulting to prostitution. Trafficking is assisted by recruiters (who accompany the woman to the new country), the traffickers, and the pimps who are in charge of the brothels and sex clubs that the women end up in. Although there is an extensive amount of evidence that these people are in charge of the continuation of prostitution, it is mostly only women who are arrested, charged, and prosecuted in countries where prostitution is illegal.

The all-encompassing power of the sex industry has devastated the economic and financial status of women in the developing countries. Governments in the developing world encourage the sex industry due to the profit they gain to pay their countries' debts, and are uninterested in the women's well-being. Women made vulnerable by poverty are most susceptible to the sex industry because they lack the resources, the education, and the economic alternatives to pursue other work possibilities. The lack of education diminishes women's potential to gain paid employment, and desperately consent to prostitution as their survival strategy. The governments of the developing world encourage and utilize the sex trade industry as a progress strategy to repay millions of dollars of debt to international corporations. There are also economic incentives for the governments of both the exporting and importing countries to ignore the trafficking in women, and the governments are relatively uninterested in the women's well-being. The sex industry promotes gender inequality and racial discrimination: foreign women maintain the lowest position in the sex trade hierarchy.

The sex industry focuses on the women and children that are devastated by poverty. One can argue that prostitution is a survival strategy for women in absolute poverty, but it is the sex industry that locks them in poverty. Sex traders recruit women by promising them jobs, a glamorous life, a good marriage, and money. For example, the brothels of...

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Canadian Woman Studies, Migration, Labour and exploitation, Trafficking in Women and Girls. York University Publication, 2004.
Clark, Bruce and Wallace, John. Global Connections: Canadian and World Issues. Prentice Hall, Toronto, 2003. Pearson Education Canada
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International Organization for Migration, Trafficking and Prostitution: The Growing exploitation of migrant women from Central & Eastern Europe, 1995.
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Lucky Star Online Casino, Prostitution and the Sexual Exploitation of Women, 2002.
People 's Daily Online, Chinese Proposes Efforts to Eliminate Sexual Exploitation against Women, 2003.
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