Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Important status symbol in impoverished African nation leads to many poor decisions

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest nations on Earth. Located on the African continent, which already roils with starvation, political instability and uprisings, Sierra Leone stands out for its lack of economic and social development. Mobile phones for this country's young are important status symbols, so much so that teenage girls gladly prostitute themselves in order to have one.

A mobile phone in Sierra Leone is a status symbol -- that for teenage girls, comes at a very steep price.

A mobile phone in Sierra Leone is a status symbol -- that for teenage girls, comes at a very steep price.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Sierra Leone, mobile phones, teenage girls, prostitution


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These desperate measures by these girls put them at increased risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, a study by Save the Children says.       

"Mobile phones represent everything that an adolescent associates with being young, hip and fashionable. They are part and parcel of the idea of what they want to become, and to get them they engage in risky sexual behavior," Krystle Lai, the research author says.

Find out how you can fill the gaps to end world hunger - by going here!


"Young girls are driven to seek older, richer men who can afford to buy them mobile phones, but the economic power in these relationships is unbalanced and influences the bargaining power of using a condom," Lai adds.

Once the more destitute girls own a phone, the maintenance and top up may mean they have to continue selling their bodies.

The research conducted in Freetown, the nation's capital appears to reflect a wider global trend. The report said there was growing evidence that the demand for mobile phones was among the key drivers for young girls in low-income countries to engage in prostitution.

Freetown girls use prostitution, or transactional sex to buy fashionable clothes, good exam results, known locally as "sexually transmitted grades" and even food.

The girls often have different partners to meet different needs. "One girl at school was in love with three boys. One of them did her (school) assignments, one would buy her clothes, and the other one bought her phone and other things like money. One man won't do," one girl told researchers.

Using the local lexicon, an "old pa" can be over 50 years old, the "big man" is 25 to 50 years old and then there are the young guys who the girls are actually attracted to, the report said.

One girl told researchers: "The 'old pa' ask . the girls to just touch them but usually no sex. The 'big men' ask for everything ."

While fathers in Sierra Leone came down hard on these solicitations, mothers were often fully aware of their daughter's activities and chose to ignore them, or even encourage them.

"If there is nothing at home, the mother will ask the girl to go out and 'find something.' This word is very common in the community. If your mother says this, you know what she means," one girl said.

Lai says punishing mothers is not the answer. Its sex offenders who should be penalized.

"Sex offenses must be punished to the full extent of the law, which says anybody aged under 18 years is a child, and identifies any form of sexual relationship with a child as an offense warranting five to 15 years imprisonment."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Africa

Where are they going?: Number of ISIS fighters in Syria heavily drop Watch

Image of ISIS militants rise in Libya.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The number of ISIS militants swarming Syria and Iraq is believed to have dropped from 19,000 to 25,000 fighters to 20,000 to 31,500, according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest. However, as the number of fighters lower in that area, it is doubling in Libya. ... continue reading


Horrific female genital mutilation continues to haunt over 200 million girls and women around the world Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Despite efforts from the United Nations to completely outlaw this horrible practice, Female Genital Mutilation continues to affect girls and women all around the world.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the UN Children's agency, 200 million females ... continue reading


Why is the USA dumping Gitmo terrorists in Africa? Ghana Bishops Conference asks tough questions nobody wants to answer Watch

Image of Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Bishop's Conference of Ghana is unhappy that the U.S. government has sent two known terrorists to their country. The bishops have sent a letter asking the government of Ghana to send the terrorists back to where they came from. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


Boko Haram's horrific massacre leaves a trail of charred children's bodies Watch

Image of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari declared last year that Nigeria had

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram razed the village of Dalori in northeastern Nigeria this past weekend. Fifty people were killed - some of them children, when the group marched into the village and began shooting indiscriminately. Horrifying photos of charred ... continue reading


Women tricked into sex trafficking ... BY OTHER WOMEN Watch

Image of Women continue to be tricked into becoming victims of the sex trafficking industry (StopEnslavement.org).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Women are often duped by other women into believing there are job opportunities in Dubai. After paying a finder's fee to the "friends" who get them jobs, women travel to Dubai and learn that they were really sold as prostitutes. Their passports and return flight ... continue reading


South Sudan Needs Change NOW: Sudanese leaders must put their nation's interests before their own, bishop says Watch

Image of Sudan has been the scene of nearly continuous civil war since it gained independence in 1956 (Photo by Al Jazeera).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale joined his brother prelates from South Sudan and Sudan for a time of rest and prayer in Rome last week, during which they were able to discuss key issues the two countries face, including decades of internal conflict and war. Rome, Italy ... continue reading


Libyan man executed by Islamic State for practicing acupuncture Watch

Image of Libyan Haaji Mohammed says that one of the men is his friend,

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The scene on the video is familiar, but no less horrific. Two men in orange jumpsuits kneel before a black-clad Islamic State executioner and have their heads cut off with a scimitar before a cheering crowd. Libyan Haaji Mohammed says that one of the men is his ... continue reading


Terrorist attacks at Burkina Faso luxury hotel foiled; security forces storm facility Watch

Image of A terrorist siege at a Burkina Faso luxury ended on Saturday after security forces stormed the building.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A terrorist siege at a Burkina Faso luxury ended on Saturday after security forces stormed the building. Twenty-eight people from 18 different nations died in the attack; the 156 people trapped in the hotel during the siege were freed and taken to safety. LOS ... continue reading


The world looks on as people in Africa continue to starve Watch

Image of People are starving to death while the world looks on (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Millions in Ethiopia and South Sudan are victims of both drought and war, leaving most to starve. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ethiopia continues to suffer extreme droughts, doubling the number of people in need of help within a span of only three months, ... continue reading


Islamic State attacks Libyan oil supplies, killing guards, setting tanks on fire Watch

Image of Islamic State militants have launched attacks against Libya's checkpoints near the oil port of Es Sider for the past couple of days.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The rapidly deteriorating conditions in the North African nation of Libya have continued to worsen. Islamic State militants have launched attacks against Libya's checkpoints near the oil port of Es Sider for the past couple of days. A storage tank in the port ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 3:4-13
4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, since that was the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
9 How can a young man keep his way spotless? By keeping your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:30-34
30 The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 6th, 2016 Image

St. Paul Miki
February 6: Paul was the son of a Japanese military leader. ... Read More