Sex trafficking in Benin City, Nigeria.

Nigeria seems to have turned into a hotspot for women being smuggled into the sex trade. This shit is crazy.

Trafficking women for prostitution became a problem in Benin City in the mid-1980s when free-market economic reforms led to massive job losses and impoverished many Nigerians.Today, the Nigeria-Italy prostitution trade has become a sinister, self-propagating cycle.
Now, more than 80 percent of Nigerian women trafficked abroad to work in the sex trade come from Edo state, where Benin City is located, according to United Nations estimates. The main destination is Italy.

The reality is some women choose this, but many are smuggled not only for sex work, but for forced labor and domestic help. But this is the part that really got me. Women are being manipulated using local traditional oaths to scare them and force them into sex work.

Before they leave Nigeria, women are taken to traditional shrines where they swear to pay their debts to their madams and not to denounce them to the police.
The women leave fingernails, pubic hairs, soiled underwear and other intimate items at the shrines. These, according to traditional beliefs which are strong in Benin, give the priests power to harm them wherever they are in the world.

Finally, the article talks about this notion of sacrifice and how in this particular culture sacrifice is a sign of femininity. I think that unfortunately is a global phenomenon. The gendering of sacrifice and its connection to women’s work.
via Khaleej Times.

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