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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Africa

BRIBERY AND GRAFT: Ugandan families tricked into giving up children for U.S. adoption Watch

Image of Church-backed orphanages and private childcare institutions are springing up across Uganda, catering to the U.S. market.

By Katy Migiro and Tom Esslemont, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Ugandan families have been bribed, tricked or coerced into giving up their children to U.S. citizens and other foreigners for adoption, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation has found. LONDON/KAMPALA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Leaked documents, court data, ... continue reading


'Human beings should not be sold' Ugandan grandmother decries system that tore her grandchild from her family Watch

Image of In Uganda, foreigners can secure legal guardianship in a matter of weeks, sometimes before the child's birth parents realize what has happened.

By Katy Migiro and Tom Esslemont, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The first time Jaja, a Ugandan woman, saw her one-year-old granddaughter, she was in the arms of an American man who she was told had "bought" the child. KAMPALA/LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The toddler was sitting with the man and his wife, eating ... continue reading


Christian pastors face possible death penalty for practicing faith in Sudan Watch

Image of Presbyterian pastors, Yat Michael Ruot (pictured) and Peter Yein Reith, were detained after practicing their faith in Sudan.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Presbyterian Christian preachers, Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith, were reportedly detained by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of Sudan for no apparent reason. Now, the humanitarian group, Open Doors USA is voicing out concern over this ... continue reading


Stone tools dating back more than three million years old discovered in Kenya Watch

Image of Paleoanthropologists five years ago reported finding animal bones in Ethiopia that bore the signs of being cut 3.3 million to 3.4 million years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Crude stone tools, recently discovered in Kenya, raise profound questions about prehistory. The tools date back 3.3 million years, making them the oldest such artifacts ever found by 700,000 years. However, these findings suggest that members of the genus Homo ... continue reading


Thousands of migrants flee Libyan conflict through Mediterranean Sea Watch

Image of Libyan migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

African migrants on the Libyan territory are plagued with several dangers; cruelty and violence against them are among the main causes that push them to search for a safe destination, like Europe. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - To reach this continent, they must ... continue reading


Freed journalist sues Al Jazeera news agency for $100 million, alleging negligence Watch

Image of Mohamed Fahmy's lawyers, Joanna Gislason and Gary Caroline, filed the lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada earlier this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy was held with two other Al Jazeera journalists for more than 400 days in Egypt. They were charged with belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, accused of threatening Egypt's national security, as well as airing false news. Released ... continue reading


'Today, we need peace' Mali peace talks resume as violence increases Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

While preparations for signing a peace agreement, scheduled for the 15th of May in the Malian city of Bamako, continue to progress, the situation in northern Mali becomes more and more complex and confused. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Insecurity resurfaces and ... continue reading


Boko Haram kidnap victim speaks on horrific experience full of rape and abuse Watch

Image of Most of the kidnapped women were turned into sex slaves.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"They turned me into a sex machine. They took turns to sleep with me. Now, I am pregnant and I cannot identify the father," told Asabe Aliyu, one of the rescued women from the extremist camp, in an interview with the Daily Times newspaper. Asabe, 23, is just one of the ... continue reading


Disabled and under-aged Ugandan women seek justice for sexual crimes committed against them Watch

Image of Uganda is in the midst of a sexual violence epidemic, and most perpetrators go unpunished, the rights group said.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Tackling an "epidemic" of sexual violence in Uganda, in which disabled women and girls are most vulnerable to abuse, and seeking justice for the victims are at the heart of a campaign launched by the rights group Equality Now on Thursday. LONDON (Thomson ... continue reading


'We have no room for gays and those others,' deputy president of Kenya says Watch

Image of Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and has been so since colonial British rule, which ended in 1963.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. We have no room for gays and those others," Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto declared at a Nairobi church congregation in the national Swahili language. Ruto says that there is "no room" for ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 51:12-20
12 And therefore I shall thank you and praise you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
8 The precepts of Yahweh are honest, joy for the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 30th, 2015 Image

St. Joan of Arc
May 30: St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter