Gender, Work And Global Economy: The Impact Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Sports - Women Type: Essay Paper: #40671198 Related Topics: Gender Discrimination, Global Perspective, Gender Role, Gender Roles
Excerpt from Essay :

Gender, Work and Global Economy: The Impact of Globalization on Human Trafficking

The process of globalization has facilitated an integrated world economy and although it has had numerous positive impacts, it continues to produce negative impacts as well. For instance, it has led to the increase of human trafficking at such an alarming rate that it is now considered the third most wide spread and fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world - after weapon and drug trafficking. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime UNDOC (2015) human trafficking is the recruitment, transfer, transportation, or receipt of people by improper means such as fraud, threat, coercion, abduction or use of force with the aim of exploiting them.

Kempadoo (2005) explains that the vice first caught the attention of the public at the start of the 21st century and it is now a lucrative business that has became more rewarding with the advent of globalization. In fact, by 2008 the International Labour Organization estimated that annual profits generated from human trafficking totaled to $32 billion (UNDOC, 2015).

In particular, women have been the hardest hit by human trafficking. The industry's opportunistic predators continue to make use of women's vulnerability and they are usually the principle victims of traffickers who make use of their services for a variety of agendas. Kampedoo (2005) states that human trafficking has led to women's oppression and subjugation that is not of their own making; rather, a consequence of male dominance and masculine power that thrives from the prevalence of gender inequalities. Acker (2004) also states that globalization facilitated women's subordination in capitalist societies and they continue to be assigned positions with less power than men and held responsible reproductive labor. In recent years, human traffickers have taken advantage of the economic disempowerment of women and their vulnerability to focus on women trafficking, which has proved more lucrative than the trafficking of men and children. Thus, globalization is responsible for the increase in women trafficking and it has facilitated their oppression and exploitation for both sexual and financial gain in different parts of the world. This text evaluates how women are taken advantage of by human traffickers and why they have been the hardest hit by the human trafficking phenomena.

The commercialization of women's bodies

Shelley (2010) states that globalization has facilitated a tremendous growth of tourism. Consequently, human traffickers have specialized in sex trade and sex tourism, which combines various aspects of human trafficking with the sex tourism that mostly involves young women. Organized criminal syndicates take advantage of women with promises of a better future or a source of income that will help them feed their children -- largely because such women are more susceptible to fictitious job opportunities in foreign countries. Sex traffickers ensure they deliver women to rich customers who treat them as sex slaves because once victims reach foreign lands, they become desperate as they have no means of survival and they are unable to go back to their home countries.

With the globalization of transportation and technology, women can be delivered to clients distributed all over the world within a short period of time. Burke (2013) refers to it as 'commercialization intimacy', where women's bodies are treated as products for other people's consumption, resulting in then being dehumanized. She further explains that women migrant workers in most third world countries are at a greater risk of slavery than male migrant workers because the consumption of intimacy as advertised by women traffickers only happens through women's bodies. The traffickers feel entitled to their victims' bodies and they exploit them as they see/deem fit.

Violence against women

Burke (2013) describes human trafficking as a form of violence against women. Very often, women are abused emotionally and physically and treated as victims of their own circumstances. Once the human traffickers instill insecurity and fear into the lives of their victims, they can do little to achieve development and equality. One of the negative freedom are violated and they are exploited for both sexual and financial gain.

Globalization has a huge role to play in this because the integration of world economies has created numerous employment opportunities across the globe. Women and girls get to learn about jobs in foreign countries and they are duped into slavery by fraudulent traffickers. Most women and girls in the 21st century, for example, are enticed with modeling jobs and they often end up working in brothels as prostitutes. The more feminine and poorer an individual is, the more likely they are to be trafficked. Burke (2013) asserts that just like the global production of commodities seeks to offer new products or services to consumers spread across the globe, human traffickers continue to trade women of all shapes and sizes to offer global consumers new products in the form of new female bodies and faces.

Discrimination against women

Acker (2004) explores whether gender is embedded in globalizing capitalism. He establishes that women continue to be subordinated and discriminated against in majority of capitalist societies. Men are often unburdened by reproduction responsibilities and they hold more power, which places them in a better position to oppress women. Discontinuities between the realities of men and women lives can be used to explain why women have been the hardest hit by the human trafficking vice.

Men continue to dominate and symbolize the power and wealth associated with globalization and women continue to be discriminated against. They become the perfect victims for human traffickers particularly because various forms of homogenous masculinity continue to interfere with the justice systems and consequently, the exploitation of women is not adequately addressed; and lucrative business that center around sex slavery and sexual exploitation continue to thrive. Although Acker (2004) posits that women labor is one of the greatest resources for global capital, their discrimination still exposes them to oppression and exploitation.

Kuokkanen (2006) claims that women are the hardest hit by economic globalization and its consequences and the various injustices they face attack the very foundation of their existence. He uses the example of indigenous women and explains that as the most disenfranchised and poorest members of the society, they are often on the receiving end of discrimination and various forms of abuse, as well as economic, political, and structural violence, all of which reproduce one another. Gender discrimination, therefore, is systemic in the society and it is responsible for all forms of exploitation of women, the worst being the trafficking of women.


Clearly, globalization has as many disadvantages as it has advantages. Human traffickers have benefited largely from globalization because it has made women vulnerable to exploitation and oppression. Globalization has enabled traffickers to commercialize women's bodies and they are constantly recruited and sold to wealthy individuals to be used as sex slaves. The traffickers are able to connect with brokers from across the globe who deliver unsuspecting women and girls to criminal organizations that sell them as prostitutes. It has also increased violence against women and the violation of their rights because they are at times transported to foreign countries with settings and cultures that have no respect for women rights and well-being.

In essence, globalization has led to the feminization of labor, where women have to work to support their families, exposing them to human traffickers that take advantage of their vulnerability for both sexual and financial gain. Moreover, it has increased the power and dominance of men, encouraging continued discrimination against women -- who are left at the mercy of men who often misuse their labor, a significant contributor to global trade, to exploit them both sexually and financially. In the final analysis, therefore, it can be said that globalization is responsible for the increase in women trafficking, and it has facilitated…

Sources Used in Documents:


Acker, Joan.(2004). Gender, Capitalism and Globalization. In critical sociology, Vol. (30)1, 1-27.

Burke, M.C. (2013). Human Trafficking: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New York: Routledge

Kempadoo, Kamala. (2005). Introduction: from Moral Panic to Global Justice: Changing Perspective On Trafficking "In Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives On Migration, Sex Work, and Human Rights: Paradigm Publishers 193-204.

Kuokkanen, Rauna (2006). Globalization as Radicalized, Sexual Violence . International Feminist Journal of Politics, 10(2): Taylor and Francis . P.299 -315.
United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, UNDOC (2015). UNODC on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Retrieved 11 June 2015 from

Cite this Document:

"Gender Work And Global Economy The Impact" (2015, June 12) Retrieved January 23, 2022, from

"Gender Work And Global Economy The Impact" 12 June 2015. Web.23 January. 2022. <>

"Gender Work And Global Economy The Impact", 12 June 2015, Accessed.23 January. 2022,

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