Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Gender and the Affective Dimensions of Sex Trafficking in Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street
This article analyses Chika Unigwe’s novel On Black Sisters’ Street as a socio-political narrative by examining the issue of sex trafficking and the subsequent violation of women’s fundamental human rights. First, I will argue that gender is the primary cause of inequality to which African women are exposed, within and outside the continent. The novel’s characters are indeed both victims and accomplices of the corrupt patriarchal capitalist system; they are subject to social constraints but also active agents capable of resisting the restrictions imposed on them. Second, I will draw on Sara Ahmed’s thesis about the circulation of emotions to discuss how pain, disgust, anger, and hatred ‘work’ in modern global society and determine the affective dimensions of sex trafficking. I will demonstrate, therefore, how these emotions highlight the power dynamics of patriarchy and capitalism and simultaneously give voice to women’s political and ethical demands for reparation and redress.