Added: September 20, 2014 – Last updated: November 7, 2015


Speaker: Leonora Angeles

Title: The Sexual Slavery of "Comfort Women"

Subtitle: Forced Intimate Labour During Wartime

Conference: The "Comfort Women" and Contemporary Forms of Sexual Violence Against Women

Place: Vancouver, Canada

Date: March 25, 2014

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Asian History: Japanese History | Types: Forced Prostitution / "Comfort Women"; Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Asia-Pacific War


Link: -


Speaker: Leonora C. Angeles, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, University of British ColumbiaResearchGate

Abstract: »Wars waged by men, based on militarist and/or ethno-nationalist agendas, often consider women’s bodies as “fair game” in the war booty collection of warring parties. At the core of exploring the links between militarism, nationalism and sexual slavery in the case of Filipina, Korean, Indonesian and other Asian “comfort women” during World War II is the need to examine how women’s bodies and feminine identities are exchanged, “valued” and appropriated for the “intimate labour” they provide. While there are some differences between contemporary forms of “intimate labour” (e.g. care work, domestic work, foreign brides, sex trafficking) and this form of wartime sexual slavery in terms of the circumstances and conditions under which women’s bodies are priced, commodified and degraded through violence, they share common foundations in the social acceptance of gendered injustice and oppression that capitalize on women’s vulnerabilities. There are historical continuities between this war-time phenomenon and the contemporary forms of “violence against women” suffered by migrants from the very same countries of origins as comfort women, now doing various forms of paid, unpaid and forced forms of intimate labour in Japan. Current campaigns to cast the injustice suffered by Asian comfort women as “human rights violations” and seek redress for this injustice should not lose sight of resurgent citizen-activism and active solidarities between women in Japan, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines.« (Source: Eventbrite)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Japan / Shōwa period | Prostitution: Forced prostitution / Comfort women | Sexual violence: Types of rape / Wartime sexual violence | War: Pacific War / Japanese war crimes