Trafficking in Women's Bodies, Then and Now: The Issue of Military "Comfort Women"


Watanabe, Kazuko. 1995. "Trafficking in Women's Bodies, Then and Now: The Issue of Military 'Comfort Women'." Peace & Change 20 (4): 501-14.

Author: Kazuko Watanabe

Keywords: military sexual assault, comfort women, sex trafficking, militaries


This essay “recounts the World Human Rights Conference held in Vienna in 1993 and other national and international conventions as well as activists' reports that exposed the long-suppressed story of the comfort women of World War II.” The author concludes that in order for the problem of trafficking of women in Asia (in particular Japan) to be fixed, women must take control by speaking out “to abolish the male-centered sexuality and culture that celebrates masculinity and the commodification of women’s bodies,” and that women need more opportunities for legitimate jobs and economic independence. 

Topics: Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 1995

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