As a Gen Z it’s been hard to watch the two steps forward 1 step back for women around the world. Gender discrimination is still a real problem in the workplace and in society as a whole.
At its most basic form, human trafficking is the buying and selling of people. It exists across continents and is facilitated through a variety of venues, but ultimately- human trafficking is an industry, and it profits from the exploitation of people.Human trafficking has been compared to modern-day slavery, and in many respects, the similarities are obvious.
IT’S THE 21ST CENTURY AND MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN, ARE STILL BEING FORCED TO WORK IN INHUMANE CONDITIONS, FOR UNBEARABLY LONG HOURS, FOR LITTLE TO NO PAY.
Slavery of the past was an accepted economic practice, but today, human trafficking is a criminal activity. Slavery used to systematically exploit a specific people group; while today, anyone can be a human trafficking victim regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender, or economic status. Human trafficking is now facilitated online and through social media. Traffickers use love and affection as control mechanisms, and victims might not even self-identify as victims. Human trafficking is an incredibly complex issue- based on dozens of contributing factors. So to understand how trafficking exists today, what it looks like, and why it is sustained, we are going to explore three factors that give it fuel.
First, human trafficking is fueled by a high reward, low risk dynamic. This means that traffickers can expect to make a lot of money with minimal fear of punishment or legal consequence. It’s the second most profitable illegal industry— second only to the drug trade. And while drugs are sold in one transaction, human beings can be sold over and over again. The costs are low and the profits are extremely high.
When girls aren’t allowed to learn, parents are more likely to sell their daughters to men for marriage.Ultimately, harmful social norms and systemic inequity fuel trafficking because traffickers target vulnerability. Traffickers look for the impoverished, the desperate, the ones without legitimate job options, the ones without education opportunities, and the ones looking for a way to escape the violence.
IF WE NEVER ADDRESS THESE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, WE WILL NEVER SEE THE DAY WHEN TRAFFICKING NO LONGER EXISTS.
Here in the USA we can address this by empowering women in and out of the workplace. Stay at home mom shaming has to stop, as does working mom shaming both of these groups need each other for our communities to function so let’s empower each other in our chosen roles.
Equal pay for equal work is critical and as companies start to seriously consider hiring women re-entering the workplace we will see more flexible work schedules and the ability for women to have the work life balance they need to feel secure, and support their families.
Programs teaching young women to have self esteem like brave.org ,which we will be running in the Barrington area July 30th to help young women learn self defense techniques as well as coping skills and empowerment are critical in our communities to make girls feel supported and mentored.
In the end we as women need to stick together and support each other because we can easily be used and abused if we don’t surround ourselves in healthy sisterhood and build each other up.