Forced Prostitution: Unpacking the Links between Globalization, Neo-liberalism, and the Illicit Sex Trade


Banwell, Stacy. 2018. “Forced Prostitution: Unpacking the Links between Globalization, Neo-liberalism, and the Illicit Sex Trade.” Paper presented at Prostitution, Pimping and Trafficking, Conway Hall, London, September 5.

Author: Stacy Banwell


Transnational feminism attributes women’s social, political and economic marginalization to capitalism, class exploitation, neo-imperialism and neo-liberalism. It addresses the local and global contexts in which violence against women and girls occurs. Allied to this is the political economy approach. This approach addresses the relationship between the economic, the social and the political. Moving beyond direct acts of physical violence - by addressing structural forms of inequality and violence - the political economy approach broadens what is meant by violence and abuse. Accordingly, forced prostitution - resulting from a lack of employment opportunities - is considered a form of structural violence. Drawing on both of these perspectives, and focusing on Iraq and Syria, Dr Banwell examines how globalization and neo-liberalism impact the day-to-day lives of women and girls in war-shattered economies. The talk will conclude with some thoughts on what is being done to address gender-based violence and what measures can be taken to achieve gender equality in post-conflict situations.

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2018

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at