The International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of how much remains to change.
The Woman Post | Ariel Cipolla
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All human beings are the same. The UN has indicated that, by 2021, the theme of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade will be "ending the racist legacy of slavery," in order to end many historical injustices.
Precisely, this important day should allow us to remember the history of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, to recognize the impact it has, and even to be aware that it still persists today. In other words, we are talking about a problem that, for some 400 years, caused more than 15 million men, women, and children to be victims of this situation.
The purpose of this day is to pay tribute to those who suffered and died because of this cruel system. At the same time, it seeks to generate confidence to raise awareness about the current dangers of racism and slavery, which are more present today than they should be. Let's know some stories that will make us aware of the problem.
Slavery and Women
ECLAC indicated that slavery still persists today in many parts of the world. Currently, it takes the form of forced labor, trafficking, sexual exploitation, or conditions of captivity that can easily be interpreted as dehumanization and slavery. In other words, even today the problem doesn't seem completely solvable.
A historical example was Mary Prince, the first black slave who decided to write her autobiography. The story of Mary Prince, an Antillean slave written by herself is one of the first historical documents that narrates in the first person the life in slavery of a person from the Bermuda archipelago.
This "first treatise" against slavery made it a landmark of black African literature in the colonies. It was published in 1831 when slavery was no longer legal in Britain, but Parliament had not yet abolished it in the colonies. Thanks to her testimony, Prince became a national hero in Bermuda, since on August 1, 1834, all slaves were emancipated.
Inexplicably even today, there is the sale of slaves in the markets of Libya, more specifically in Tripoli. Marian, 23, was one of the most important references to denounce local problems. For 7 months, she became a sex slave.
This happened after she crossed the desert on a planned trip to Italy. However, she was locked in a windowless basement and there she began her ordeal. The only way out of her was to pay money, which they could only get by being prostitutes in that basement. From there, she began the abuse and violence, until she finally regained her freedom.
The origins of Asian women sex workers and their exploitation and demonization date back to 1840s. The first waves of women “immigrants” were sold as sex slaves in the San Francisco barracoons. Source: the late Judy Yung pic.twitter.com/1difB52i0y— Sally Mao 毛雯雯 (@sallywenmao) March 17, 2021
The BBC also reports on the testimony of al Shabab sex slaves. Many women had been abducted in Kenya by the Islamic group al Shabab, who were later taken as sex slaves to Somalia. In this case, Kenyan Salama Ali told her story and explained that women are still trafficked today.
The groups are usually varied: young girls and minors, Christians or Muslims, among others. The methodology was simple: they were contacted with the intention of offering them a good job, but then they ended up being kidnapped and locked up. Even on a daily basis many of them are afraid of spreading their terrible experiences.
Finally, The New York Times also said that, until 2019, many Islamic State women had been kidnapped, until the Islamic State was expelled from southeastern Syria. More specifically, in the Yazidi community, a minority in northern Iraq. There it became known that around 6,000 women and children had been held captive in various forms of slavery, including sexual slavery.
Ultimately, this commemorative date should make us reflect on the dangers of slavery. Although progress is being made in some latitudes, there are still unexplored regions where many people (and mainly women) are stripped of their humanity and treated as objects.