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Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Gender and the Affective Dimensions of Sex Trafficking in Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street

Isabella Villanova    Universität Wien, Österreich    

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abstract

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.

Pubblicato
19 Dicembre 2022
Accettato
15 Ottobre 2022
Presentato
14 Luglio 2022
Lingua
EN

Keywords: GenderChika UnigwePatriarchyThe trafficking of Nigerian womenEmotionsGlobal society

Copyright: © 2022 Isabella Villanova. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.