Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/7/2014 (9 months 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 (9 months 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 March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Africa

Christian monks in Egypt face death by bulldozer to cries of 'Allahu Akbar!' Watch

Image of Coptic monks lie before bulldozers as workers chant

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Coptic monks in Egypt are facing death by bulldozer as road workers chanting "Allah Akbar!" plan to bulldoze an ancient Christian site to construct a toad. To protest the project, monks have laid before the bulldozers. So far, no lives have been lost, but a great risk ... continue reading


Terrifying Ebola-styled outbreak may affect nearly 30 countries Watch

Image of It is now critical to bolster the health systems of other poor countries so they can deal with any Ebola-style outbreak.

By Joseph D'Urso, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 30 countries around the world are "highly vulnerable" to an Ebola-style epidemic, with Somalia, Chad, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Haiti most at risk, a major charity said on Tuesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An increasingly mobile global population ... continue reading


Beaten to death and set on fire, Nigerian girl accused of being a Boko Haram suicide bomber Watch

Image of A second suspected teenage girl, also accused of being a suicide bomber was later arrested at the Muda Lawal market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Suspected of being a suicide bomber with Boko Haram, a teenage girl was beaten to death, and then set on fire in a Nigerian vegetable market. A second suspected teenage girl, also accused of being a suicide bomber was later arrested at the Muda Lawal market, ... continue reading


Cease-fire agreement promises hope to war torn Mali Watch

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

A peace deal has been signed in Mali, potentially bringing an end to a war which has devastated the west African nation for years. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - A representative of the Azawad independence movement, Bilal Ag Cherif, met with a representative ... continue reading


Red Cross report: You won't believe what Boko Haram is doing now Watch

Image of While many African nations have joined an international military force to fight Boko Haram, the Islamist group is far from defeat and still extremely dangerous.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The war against the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed a new front line, centering on the city of Diffa on the Nigerian border. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The city's population continues to suffer under the Islamist group's draconian rules, and ... continue reading


American missionary kidnapped from Christian school in Africa Watch

Image of Reverend Phyllis Sortor had been working as a missionary in Africa for the past decade.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An American Christian missionary in central Nigeria was kidnapped from Hope Academy, according to the website of the Free Methodist Church. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Early this morning we received a report that Reverend Phyllis Sortor, our missionary in ... continue reading


7-year-old child suicide bomber kills seven in Nigeria Watch

Image of Suspicious security guards said they tried to prevent the girl from entering the market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A girl thought to be as young as seven years of age  killed herself and seven others in a suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria. The bombing in Potiskum last Sunday was the second suicide attack in or near the market where new and second-hand phones are ... continue reading


Coptic Christian refugee route, Tunisia, not as secure as it appears Watch

Image of Tunisia has seen an upturn in the number of radical Islamists since the growth of the Islamic State and the Arab Spring.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Insecurity and fear is back in Tunisia, which had thus far managed to avoid severe violence despite neighboring war-torn Libya, following a terrorist attack which killed four Tunisian soldiers between the night of February 17 and morning of the 18th. ALGIERS, ... continue reading


More cell phones than flush toilets -- Mobile phones reshaping African cultures Watch

Image of Mobile usage in Africa increases twice as fast as the global average.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In this very moment, you're using the internet. Are you on a computer? If you're living in an African Country, chances are you've never even seen a computer and can only browse using a mobile device. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CNN, 70 percent of ... continue reading


SHOCKING NEW BOOK says AIDS began in Africa at run of century - not 1980s Watch

Image of David Quammen's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a new historical treatise is accurate, AIDS/HIV, associated mostly with homosexual men, did not begin in the metropolitan climes of New York City and Paris in the 1980s, but in the Cameroonian jungles of Africa at the turn of the century. David Quammen's ... 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, Jeremiah 17:5-10
5 Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 5th, 2015 Image

St. John Joseph of the Cross
March 5: St. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the ... 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