Sexual Livelihoods

Women and Fish-for-Sex: Transactional Sex, HIV/AIDS and Gender in African Fisheries


Béné, Christophe, and Sonja Merten. 2008. “Women and Fish-for-Sex: Transactional Sex, HIV/AIDS and Gender in African Fisheries.” World Development 36 (5): 875–99.

Authors: Christophe Béné, Sonja Merten


This paper analyzes the phenomenon of fish-for-sex in small-scale fisheries and discusses its apparent links to HIV/AIDS and transactional sex practices. The research reveals that fish-for-sex is not an anecdotal phenomenon but a practice increasingly reported in many different developing countries, with the largest number of cases observed in Sub-Saharan African inland fisheries. An overview of the main narratives that attempt to explain the occurrence of FFS practices is presented, along with other discourses and preconceptions, and their limits discussed. The analysis outlines the many different and complex dimensions of fish-for-sex transactions. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations.


Keywords: artisanal fisheries, vulnerability, poverty, public health, Africa

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods Regions: Africa

Year: 2008

Oil, Gender and Agricultural Child Labour in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: Implications for Sustainable Development


Joseph-Obi, Chioma. 2011. “Oil, Gender and Agricultural Child Labour in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: Implications for Sustainable Development.” Gender & Behaviour 9 (2): 4072–99.

Author: Chioma Joseph-Obi


The Niger Delta region of Nigeria continues to face the problem of agitations, violent conflicts, crimes, rural-urban migration, environmental degradation, militant resistance engendering a frightening state, characterized by violence and criminality in the form of kidnapping, prostitution, escalating unemployment, and vandalization. This paper examines how the activities of oil multinational corporations has compromised agriculture and child labour in the region. This paper is expository and analytical in thrust. It is based on data collected through a survey conducted amongst agricultural child labourers in Rivers State of Nigeria. The sample consisted of 180 respondents drawn from Afara, Kpite-Tai and Tombia, communities all in Rivers State using the purposive sampling technique. A total of 90 parents/guardians were also drawn from the three communities. The study assessed the relationship between oil and gas exploration, gender and the agricultural child labour. The relationship between household size and agricultural child labour and the relationship between health-related hazards and girl-child labour. Data generated from the survey were subjected to statistical analyses using simple percentages to establish primary correlation. It revealed that there is a significant relationship between (a) household size and child labour, and (b) oil and gas exploration and gender and child labour. This paper, was also viewed through the lens of Marxian Feminist Theory. Finally, some recommendations were made, top of which the existing poverty alleviation programmes in the country should be targeted at the girls' and women first.

Keywords: gender, Agricultural child labour, Niger Delta, poverty, oil, multinationals

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Girls, Health, Households, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Multi-National Corporations, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2011

Recasting our Understanding of Gender and Work During Global Restructuring


Pyle, Jean L., and Kathryn B. Ward. 2003. “Recasting Our Understanding of Gender and Work During Global Restructuring.” International Sociology 18 (3): 461–89.

Authors: Jean L. Pyle, Kathryn B. Ward


The authors propose a broad analytic framework for understanding the relationships between globalization, gender and work. They argue that the way researchers, government officials and development practitioners think about globalization's effects on the gendered division of labor is the basis upon which to develop effective strategies to reduce gender inequalities. The authors outline the major trends of the recent period of globalization and their effects on the gendered division of labor, including more macro-effects of trade, production and finance on women's roles. They investigate micro-impacts through four growing gendered production networks: export production, sex work, domestic service and microfinance income generation. They also examine the role of governments and find that, to satisfy demands of international institutions and address some citizens' needs, many governments have been pushed into fostering these types of work. The authors argue that these gendered global production networks have grown substantially as a result of globalization processes and that there are systemic linkages between the global expansion of production, trade and finance and the increase of women in these networks. This broader understanding of the forces that shape women's lives is necessary to develop strategies that counter globalization's adverse impacts.

Keywords: Bangladesh, gender, globalization, microfinance, multinational corporation, sex work, work

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Governance, Households, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Political Economies

Year: 2003

Fighting Against Human Trafficking and the Sex Trade: An Interview with Teresa Ulloa Ziáuuriz


Truman, Mark and Jorge Mazal. 2012. “Fighting Against Human Trafficking and the Sex Trade: An Interview with Teresa Ulloa Ziáuuriz.” Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy 24: 69-83.

Author: Mark Truman, Jorge Mazal

Keywords: human trafficking, sex trafficking, gender discrimination, Rape survivors, prostitution

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico, United States of America

Year: 2012

Transnational Cycles of Gendered Vulnerability: A Prologue to a Theory of Global Gender Justice


Jaggar, Alison M. 2009. “Transnational Cycles of Gendered Vulnerability: A Prologue to a Theory of Global Gender Justice.” Philosophical Topics 37 (2): 33-52.

Author: Alison M. Jaggar


Across the world, the lives of men and women who are otherwise similarly situated tend to differ from each other systematically. Although gender disparities vary widely within and among regions, women everywhere are disproportionately vulnerable to povery, abuse, and political marginalization. This article proposes that global gender disparities are caused by a network of norms, practices, policies, and institutions that include transnational as well as national elements. These interlaced and interacting factors frequently modify and sometimes even reduce gendered vulnerabilities but their overall effect is to maintain and often intensify them. Women's vulnerabilities in different areas of life mutually reinforce each other and I follow other authores in referring to such casual feedback loops as cycles of gendered vulnerability. I argue taht these cycles now operate on a transnational as well as national scale and I illustrate this by discussing the examples of domestic work and sex work. If global institutional arrangements do indeed contribute to maintaining or intensifying distinctively gendered vulnerabilities, these arrangements deserve critical scrutiny from philosophers concerned with global justice.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods

Year: 2009

Trafficking in Humans Social, Cultural and Political Dimensions


Cameron, Sally, and Edward Newman. 2008. Trafficking in Humans Social, Cultural and Political Dimensions. New York: United Nations University Press. 

Authors: Sally Cameron, Edward Newman


Brings social, economic and political elements to the policy discussion as well as strategic interventions regarding the fight against "trafficking" (the recruitment and transportation of human beings through deception and coercion for the purposes of exploitation). Trafficking, generally, occurs from poorer to more prosperous countries and regions; however, it is not necessarily the poorest regions or communities which are most vulnerable to trafficking, and so this volume seeks to identify the factors which explain where and why vulnerability increases. –Publisher's description.

“[This] volume examines the proposition that in this era of globalization, liberal economic forces have resulted in the erosion of state capacity and a weakening of the provision of public goods…A certain alignment of factors may be key to understanding trafficking. The principle focus of this volume is to understand the distinction and dialectical interaction between structural and proximate factors.”


Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: Understanding human trafficking/Edward Newman and Sally Cameron

Part I: Themes:

2. Trafficking in humans: Structural factors/Sally Cameron and Edward Newman
3. Globalization and national sovereignty: From migration to trafficking/ Kinsey Alden Dinan
4. Trafficking of women for prostitution/Sally Cameron
5. Migrant women and the legal politics of anti-trafficking interventions/Ratna Kapur
6. Trafficking in women: The role of transnational organized crime/Phil Williams

Part II: Regional experiences

7. The fight against trafficking in human beings from the European perspective/Helga Konrad
8. Human trafficking in East and South-East Asia: Searching for structural factors/Maruja M. B. Asis
9. Human trafficking in Latin America in the context of international migration/Gabriela Rodríguez Pizarro
10. Human trafficking in South Asia: A focus on Nepal/Renu Rajbhandari
11. Trafficking in persons in the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: New challenges for transitional democracies/Gulnara Shahinian


Recognize that trafficking is gendered

Gender analysis offers increased possibilities to understand the specifics of why certain women are trafficked into certain regions/industries and develop appropriate (often long-term) responses. As a starting point, women are being trafficked from states offering them limited opportunities outside the hard toil and drudgery of the home, the farm and unregulated markets. “Rescuing” women and sending them home does not affect that, and thus will not alter the principal push factors which make women vulnerable to trafficking. At the same time, there is a failure to understand and acknowledge fully the trafficking of men. While there is some writing about men working in exploitative, indentured or slave-like conditions, much of this has not been contextualized within a trafficking framework. Similarly, there must be greater recognition that children are trafficked. For too long the popular image of trafficking victims – young women coerced into prostitution – has influenced policy responses, but this is only a part of the reality.” (16)

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Americas, Central America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Balkans, South Caucasus Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Nepal

Year: 2008

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeeping Operations in Contemporary Africa


Utas, Mats, and Fanny Ruden. 2009. Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeeping Operations in Contemporary Africa. 2. Uppsala, SE: The Nordic Africa Institute.

Authors: Fanny Ruden, Mats Utas


In international peacekeeping operations (PKOs) some individuals are involved in sexual exploitation and abuse of the host country’s population, buying of sexual services and trafficking of prostitutes. Far from being a new phenomenon it goes back a long time, and reports on the issue have increased over the years. All too frequently we read about peacekeepers visiting prostitutes, committing rape, or in other ways sexually exploiting host populations. Some peacekeepers are taking advantage of the power their work gives them, and becoming abusers rather than protectors in situations where the host population is powerless and in dire need of protection. Peacekeepers’ abuse of their mandate is inflicting severe damage on host societies and often results in a number of unintended consequences such as human rights violations, rapid spread of HIV, decreased trust in the UN as well as other international aid agencies, and harmful changes to gender patterns. Women and children, both girls and boys, are especially exposed. Having already suffered from war and instability they risk becoming even more physically and mentally wounded. Peacekeeping operations risk doing more harm than good in African war zones, and if they cannot learn from previous mistakes maybe they ought to stay at home. We do not argue for the latter; rather, we point towards the urgent need to change explicit and implicit patterns and habits in international peacekeeping operations in relation to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in Africa. In this Policy Note we focus predominantly on military staff, but acknowledge that the civilian staff of PKOs, and international aid workers, are also implicated. On the other hand it should initially be pointed out that most PKO staff are not sexual exploiters and abusers.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Peacekeeping, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa

Year: 2009

The Girl Child and Armed Conflict: Recognizing and Addressing Grave Violations of Girls’ Human Rights


Mazurana, Dyan, and Khristopher Carlson. 2006. "The Girl Child and Armed Conflict: Recognizing and Addressing Grave Violations of Girls’ Human Rights." UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) Expert Group Meeting, Florence, September 25-28.

Authors: Dyan Mazurana, Khristopher Carlson


During armed conflict, girls are subject to widespread and, at times, systematic forms of human rights violations that have mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and material repercussions. These violations include illegal detention with or without family members, abduction and forced removal from families and homes, disappearances, torture and other inhuman treatment, amputation and mutilation, forced recruitment into fighting forces and groups, slavery, sexual exploitation, increased exposure to HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of physical and sexual violations, including rape, enforced pregnancy, forced prostitution, forced marriage and forced child-bearing. There is urgent need for better documentation, monitoring and reporting on the extreme suffering that armed conflict inflicts on girls, as well as on the many roles girls play during conflict and its aftermath. Such information and response mechanisms are needed for the purpose of strengthening and developing policy and programs to prevent and or address these grave rights violations. This paper documents and analyses the grave human rights violations girls endure during situations of armed conflict and offers recommendations on preventing and or addressing those harms. The paper begins by offering a concise overview of current trends in armed conflict and the impact of armed conflict on children. It discusses existing international initiatives that identify grave and systematic violations against girls during armed conflict and reviews the most pertinent international legal standards relating to these violations. To better understand the gender dimensions, the paper describes and analyzes the experiences of girls during armed conflicts, noting gendered patterns to the grave rights violations committed against them. The paper offers examples of some best practices to address these violations. The paper concludes with concrete recommendations to governments, the United Nations and NGOs.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Girls, Health, HIV/AIDS, Households, International Law, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, NGOs, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Torture, Sexual Torture

Year: 2006

Human Trafficking, Labor Brokering, and Mining in Southern Africa: Responding to a Decentralized and Hidden Public Health Disaster


Steele, Sarah. 2013. “Human Trafficking, Labor Brokering, and Mining in Southern Africa: Responding to a Decentralized and Hidden Public Health Disaster.” International Journal of Health Services 43 (4): 665–80. doi:10.2190/HS.43.4.e.

Author: Sarah Steele


Many southern African economies are dependent on the extractive industries. These industries rely on low-cost labor, often supplied by migrants, typically acquired through labor brokers. Very little attention has so far been paid to trafficking of men into extractive industries or its connection with trafficked women in the region’s mining hubs. Recent reports suggest that labor brokering practices foster human trafficking, both by exposing migrant men to lack of pay and exploitative conditions and by creating male migratory patterns that generate demand for sex workers and associated trafficking of women and girls. While trafficking in persons violates human rights, and thus remains a priority issue globally, there is little or no evidence of an effective political response to mine-related trafficking in southern Africa. This article concludes with recommendations for legal and policy interventions, as well as an enhanced public health response, which if implemented would help reduce human trafficking toward mining sites.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Health, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 2013

Oil, Sex, and Temporary Migration: The Case of Vienna City, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana


Obeng-Odoom, Franklin. 2014. “Oil, Sex, and Temporary Migration: The Case of Vienna City, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.” The Extractive Industries and Society 1 (1): 69–74. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2013.12.003.

Author: Franklin Obeng-Odoom


Does the presence of temporary sex migrants trailing a resource boom cause crime, lead to a breakdown of morality, trigger a crisis of sexually transmitted diseases, and depress property values? While popular representations suggest that the answer to each of these questions is an emphatic ‘yes’, and hence the ‘right to the city’ of sex workers should be revoked, preliminary primary data unobtrusively and indirectly collected from sex workers trailing a resource boom in a West African port city suggest that the posited direct connection between prostitution and socio-economic ‘bads’ is not always definitive. Further research is required to probe popular characterisations of temporary sex migrants, the effect of sex work on resource-rich cities, and how they vary at different stages of the oil industry. For now, however, the evidence suggests that there is the need for alternative urbanism that recognises sex workers’ ‘right to the city’ in ways that can make the state use its powers to support rather than exclude such minority groups.

Keywords: oil, migration, economic development, Ghana, Africa

Topics: Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Reproductive Health, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2014


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