Some Definitions Trafficking- The international and domestic trade of women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation. Rape- The unlawful forcing of a woman to engage in sexual intercourse against her will. War Rape- A form of psychological warfare where power in maintained by the rape of women by soldiers and other military personnel. Comfort Women- Women forced into prostitution by military (Japanese women of WWII)
Prostitution- The act of engaging in sexual activity for money or other services, goods, etc.. Female Genital Mutilation- procedure involving the complete or partial removal of or injury to external female genitals. ALL of these are forms of SEXUAL ASSAULT/ABUSE.
Trafficking -Women who have been sex slaves for a while will be used to recruit new, younger girls into the business. -About 30,000 women and children dies each year as a result of sex trafficking. -Pregnant women are brought into trafficking so that their newborns can be sold on the black market -Human trafficking involves about 19% labor and 89% sexual exploitation. -These women and children who have been trafficked for sexual purposes are more likely to suffer from HIV, STDS and other reproductive health issues. -There is very little, if any real help for these women, and most of them don’t leave the life of slavery whether due to the lack of help or the fear of the traffickers hurting their families back home. -There is an estimation that 42% of recruiters in the trafficking industry are women. -Starvation, rape, physical abuse, gang rapes and threats to a woman’s family are all ways that owners keep the women in submission. -Sex trafficking is expected to surpass the drug trade.
Rape -There is a misconception that rape is about the sex, when in fact rape is about having power over the other person, and nothing to do with the satisfaction of a sexual act at all. This is especially true in the case of war rape. -The typical rape victim is between 16 and 24, and almost always knows her rapist, although there are cases of stranger rape. -Alcohol is involved in 1 out of 3 cases of rape -In an inquiry done by TIME Magazine, they found that the pentagon estimates nearly 3,000 female American soldiers were raped or sexually assaulted in the last year by their mail counterparts in uniform. This number is actually low, because nearly 90% of female soldiers don’t report an attack. -Many of the “solutions” to keep women from being a victim of rape are targeted towards the women in the form of “don’t go out alone late at night, don’t leave drinks unattended, don’t wear too revealing clothes, etc.. All things that women shouldn’t do, maybe it is safe advice, but I often wonder what else can be done to stop rape? Is it always going to be up to the woman making sure she isn’t too “slutty” and available to being raped?
War Rape and Comfort Women -The comfort women were Asian women forced into sex slavery for the Japanese soldiers -This was something that had been sanctioned by the Japanese government at the time. They were meant to keep the soldiers happy and at peace while often being beaten, starved, given forced abortions and never returning home. -It was their “job” to have sex with the soldiers, but they were still being raped numerous times a day, because they had never chosen to live the life of a comfort woman. -Rape during wartime has been around for as long as wars have been fighting. In the ancient wars when a city was conquered the soldiers would have the ability to take the women as slaves and often they were raped, and once the war was over women were awarded to those who had won. -In the Bosnian conflicts, and in the civil wars of Africa, and in other warring countries rape is used as a military tactic to take control of enemies and assert power over a group of people. This practice is especially scary in places where AIDS education isn’t widespread.
Prostitution and Sex Tourism -Prostitution is legal and is a legitimate, regulated business in the following: -Nevada, United States -Mexico -Parts of Australia -Netherlands -Germany -Parts of South America -It is partially illegal or completely illegal everywhere else, but it is something that still happens every day. -Street prostitution is women walking the streets looking for clients and generally getting into cars with complete strangers. -Brothels are organized buildings where many women work and the clients come to them. -Escort services match customer with woman through a business face generally over the internet. -Sex tourism is vacationing with the intent of having sex with prostitutes of the host country through businesses such as brothels that offer that experience where prostitution is legal. This is popular in some South American countries and Asian countries including Thailand
Female Genital Mutilation -There are 4 types of Female Genital Mutilation Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris. All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area. -There has been no proven health benefit for FGM. -According to WHO up to 140 million girls and women are living with the effects of FGM -It is considered a Humans Rights Issue. -The procedures usually happen between infancy and the age of 15. Often it is used as a rite of passage into womanhood during puberty.
-Female Genital Mutilation is a deep rooted practice in some areas of Africa with cultural beliefs that surround it. Some women are proud of the steps they take in becoming a woman especially when they have seen women before them have it done to them. -It is a split issue and a split practice in the countries that practice it (Africa as well as some areas of Asia and the Middle East), and something that will not be resolved right away -Though there is no health benefit, to those who believe in the procedure being the right thing to do the benefit is of the spiritual and moral kind. By taking away the unclean parts of a woman you have made her pure the way she was intended to be. -Most of the time the procedure is done by non medical professionals.