Trafficking in women is among the most serious human rights challenges. Extant studies of the media images of trafficked women suggest that these images emphasize women’s victimization and contribute to the reproduction of existing gender inequalities and power relations. In this case study of Moldovan media and scientific discourse, the authors sought to identify the images of trafficked women that are presented in the print media, on the one hand, and the scientific discourse, on the other. The authors also asked whether those images portray trafficked women in a stereotypical manner. The findings of this chapter revealed that the most prevalent images in both discourses are trafficked women as victims, commodities, and slaves. Both media and scientific discourses include gender oppression, domestic violence, and poverty as dimensions of the victim image. However, these three aspects of the victim image are treated more comprehensively by the scientific discourse. Some of the most prominent differences between the two types of discourses are the absence of women’s agency in the media discourse and absence of the men’s nature as a dimension of the victim image in the scientific discourse. The authors conclude by suggesting that, despite these differences, the images present in both types of discourse could be used to justify policies that would limit the migration of women but fail to effectively address the root causes of sex trafficking in women.
Lisnic, R. and Zajicek, A. (2018), "Images of Trafficked Women: A Case Study of Media and Social Science Discourse in Moldova, 2003–2008", Segal, M. and Demos, V. (Ed.) Gender and the Media: Women’s Places (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 141-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-212620180000026010Download as .RIS
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