Trafficked Women, Patriarchy and Social Media: The Case of Benin City, Nigeria

Ngozi B. Ukachi & Franca Attoh

Abstract


Trafficking in women remains a global concern despite the local and multilateral efforts to curb it. This work explores a classic case of Benin City, Nigeria, by examining the role that social media and family pressure play in stoking the problem. A cross-sectional analysis of the relevant variables, interviews with government officials, and discussions by victims on the issue show that women are trafficked as a result of the patriarchal tradition that places a little premium on females. The patriarchate of human trafficking is well established in literature. What is surprising in this case is that the networking and interactive characteristics of social media have escalated the problem and emboldened the actors. Unless the authorities take adequate measures to monitor online job advertisements to determine their authenticity, and stock up public libraries with anti-trafficking materials to enlighten vulnerable persons, the problem may become compounded. It may also be more than what the traffic can bear if inter-government agencies do not put in place robust cross border policies to checkmate the activities of traffickers.


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