Global Resources

Changing status of women and the phenomenon trafficking of women for transactional sex in Nigeria: a qualitative analysis

Author: C. A. Osezua
Publication Date: Jul 2013

This paper examines the changing status of Bini women occasioned by the upsurge and endemic nature of the trafficking of women for the purpose of transactional sex. It engaged ethnographic methods of data collection with the use of family-based interviews, focus group discussions using vignette stories, life histories, and key informant interviewing. Data were analysed based on the themes that emerged.

Findings reveal that 'successfully' trafficked Bini women enjoyed high socio-economic status in their families of procreation, especially where family members were the direct recipients of the proceeds from transactional sex. Most mothers of 'successfully' trafficked victims wielded greater influence in the family of procreation than was the case in the traditional Benin family structure, prior to the era of trafficking in the study area.

In addition, girl children that are 'successful' victims of trafficking are highly revered by their older male siblings, as long as they sent “hard currency" from overseas. The paper concludes that many uneducated women still perceive trafficking and transactional sex as empowering initiatives to protect women from the oppressive culture, which hinders their access to critical economic resources, but privileges the male gender.

[adapted from author abstract]