SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Gender, forced labour, and migration in the cocoa industry

Dr Ellie Gore (Sheffield)

Date: 29 November 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 29 November 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

This paper examines labour exploitation-- including its most severe forms, encompassed in the term forced labour-- in the global cocoa industry from the perspective of gender. The empirical basis of our analysis is an original primary dataset gathered in Ghana in 2017. This comprises 60 in-depth interviews and a survey of 500 cocoa workers, a substantial proportion of whom are migrant workers from the northern regions of Ghana, conducted in the two largest cocoa-producing areas in the country, the Western and Ashanti Regions. Using preliminary findings from this dataset, the paper examines how unequal gender power relations shape and are shaped by patterns of labour exploitation within the Ghanaian cocoa industry. Conceptually, we seek to build on recent scholarship on the business dynamics of unfree labour in global value chains, by elucidating how unfreedom in productive work reflects and reproduces relations of social reproduction, and clarifying how these intersect with dynamics of migration. Our findings shed light into the gendered patterns of labour exploitation in cocoa supply chains, the broader dynamics of social reproduction that accompany them, and the intersections of gender, labour exploitation, and internal migration in this setting.

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Dr Ellie Gore Gender, forced labour, and migration in the cocoa industry

About the speaker

Ellie Gore is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield, where she is working with Genevieve LeBaron on the ESRC grant ‘forced labour in global supply chains’. Prior to joining Sheffield, Ellie held a teaching position in the Politics and International Studies Department at the University of Birmingham.

Ellie’s research is situated at the interface between gender, sexuality, and international development. She completed her doctorate in International Development at the University of Birmingham, which was based on an ethnographic study of queer political activism in Accra, Ghana. Ellie is particularly interested in the politics of gender in development theory and practice and with queer approaches to development. Ellie’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach that draws on anthropology, political economy, international development, and gender studies.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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