Women's migration for prostitution in the interwar Middle East and North Africa

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Abstract

This article examines the migration of women for prostitution around the Mediterranean Sea, particularly to and within the Middle East and North Africa, in the interwar period. Reading League of Nations' reports on traffic in women and children along with other published and archival sources, it situates women's mobility within three significant waves of migration at the time: of south European men and women to Europe's colonies in North Africa; of east European Jews westwards and southwards; and of Syrians outside of Mt. Lebanon. It shows how women's migration can be explained and traced by following such temporary travelers as tourists, sailors, and soldiers and such more permanent migrants as settlers, refugees, and labor migrants. By using the category of migration, this article argues that "traffic in women" is insufficient as an analytical category in accounting for the geography of prostitution and prostitutes' international mobility in the interwar Mediterranean.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)93-113
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Women's History
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • History

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