Women and girls make up 80% of those trafficked

In 2003, the United Nations ruled that human trafficking was a crime. Over a hundred countries worldwide signed up to the protocol and many have introduced impressive anti-trafficking legislation.


But in reality, human traffickers continue to operate, and few are convicted.

Now according to international experts, around two and a half million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking.

Whether they are forced into labour or prostitution, the end result is the same. Modern day slavery.


It is a booming industry worth billions to those in control. And the vast majority of victims, some 80 per cent, are women and girls. And in places like the big cities of Cambodia, demand for cheap sex is everywhere. Women trying to escape poverty are lured with the promise of respectable jobs, only to find themselves forced to work in brothels.


Shiulie is joined in the studio by Dr Bridget Anderson, a senior researcher at the Centre of Migration, Policy and Society at Oxford University, and on the line from Beirut by Khawla Mattar from the International Labour Organisation.

Ramadan stress

Now, of course it is the holy month of Ramadan, and for the past couple of weeks millions of Muslims across the globe have been observing the Islamic holy month through prayer and fasting. But for many women Ramadan is also a time of stress, as they try to juggle jobs, household duties, and religious rituals which go on long into the night. Well, help is at hand. The Islamic media organisation SoundVision has come up with its 'eight step Ramadan plan for sisters'.

It recommends getting the men and the children to help with the cooking and clearing up - and organising all-women prayer meetings where childcare is shared amongst the group. But the key message is aimed at reducing women's stress in the kitchen. As the website says "In Ramadan we should be thinking of God, not stuffed grape leaves".

Taking on the US army

Shareida Hussain is battling the US army to
become a chaplain

Chaplains in the armed forces provide an important source of religious guidance and support, and they are particularly important to those troops on the ground, sometimes in very dangerous situations. Traditionally the job has been done only by men.
But one woman is trying to change that. Shareida Hussain is battling the US army to become a chaplain. She is fighting on two fronts, because Shareida is a woman and a Muslim, and this has put her firmly at the centre of a religious and cultural debate.

Everywoman will be following Shareida's progress over the next few months as she continues her fight to become an army chaplain. 

Chinese Sex in the City

A new film described as the Chinese version
of Sex and the City is causing an outcry

Over the next month we are looking at the lives of China's new breed of sexy, savvy, city women - women who have experienced more changes in one lifetime then their western sisters have in several generations.

These are liberated women - and conservative China is still getting used to them.

Right now a new film described as the Chinese version of Sex and the City is causing an outcry - but fans say it is simply challenging male chauvinistic attitudes.  
Watch this episode of Everywoman here:


Part 1:

Part 2:

This episode of Everywoman aired from 21 September 2007.

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