The final-year Philosophy, Politics, and Economics student was encouraged by tutor Dr Keith Smith to submit an essay she had written as part of her assessment to the online journal, E-International Relations (E-IR), an open access website which publishes articles and papers from scholars and students.
To her surprise, the essay - Assessing Globalisation’s Contribution to the Sex Trafficking Trade – was subsequently published and it has proven to be a source for inspiration for Isabella.
She said: “I was shocked. I love reading, writing, and learning about politics and social issues, but I have always felt apprehensive about making my own work public.
“Seeing my work published on a platform as reputable as E-IR has massively boosted my confidence within my own writing and analyses, and I hope to channel this positive energy into the final year of my undergraduate studies.”
The essay explores how poverty and patriarchy have affected the global sex-trafficking industry, and also assesses how the workings of the global capitalist system has magnified it.
Isabella said: “Writing this piece gave me the opportunity to explore the effects of global capitalism through a gendered and culturally-sensitive lens. It also allowed me to understand how patriarchy on a local level can manifest in global phenomena, specifically in the form of mass female migration and the feminisation of poverty.
“It goes without saying that studying the subject matter is harrowing, and there were definitely moments where I felt discomfort as I was doing my research.”
Isabella is continuing her reading in the area and hopes to further her research into the feminisation of poverty and the feminisation of migration in a different context, the kafala system – something she witnessed first-hand during her formative years in the Arabian Gulf.
The system requires all migrant workers in certain states to have an in-country sponsor in order to qualify for a visa which, critics say, can lead to employers abusing and exploiting employees.
You can read Isabella’s essay here.