Monday, December 14, 2009

Prostitution, Pornography and Early Marriage Taken Root

As 41.5 percent of adolescent/youth sexually active

As quoted in the Draft Sexual Harassment Policy 2004, a study also conducted in Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in 2003 by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reveals that prostitution, pornography, early marriage and cross-generational sex that are sex between adolescent and adults have taken root in The Gambia “smiling coast of Africa”.

The Adolescent/Youth Study Report 2002 also indicated that sexual activity was prevalent among adolescent/youth in that 41.5 percent had experienced sexual relationship at least once.
According to findings of a study also conducted on Early Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy by Gambia College and UNICEF in 2000, revealed that sexual relations between teachers and students on one hand, constitutes a problem for schools administrations, parents and the Ministry of Education.
Findings from the UNICEF 2003 report stated that, 64.2 percent of the sampled prostitutes below the age of 18 were either enrolled in the upper basic schools or had reached that level.
Further evidence from reports highlighted that impregnation of female students by teachers, fellow students or other outside of school is becoming rampant. Sometimes harassment involves peers, but teachers and other staff are also perpetrators.
Male and female are both affected, but there is a significant gender gap, with girls and young women experiencing much higher levels of violence, reflecting broader gender inequalities in society.
The Adolescent/Youth Study Report 2002 went on to explain that about 15 percent of the sexually-active females have been pregnant at least once. Half of the pregnancies reported were unwanted and most occurred to young schoolgirls who had to leave school as a result.
Many girls between 13-17 years of age, are sexually active, this leads to the prevalence of unwanted teenage pregnancies and to baby dumping. The incidence of illegal abortion and dropouts among schoolgirls can be attributed to unwanted and teenage pregnancies.
Adolescent fertility, the report revealed has been a growing problem with far-reaching social and economic consequences adding that these has been an upsurge in teenage pregnancies, compounding health risk and social-economic situation of girls and young women.
It is a hard fact that some of our young girls engage in the sex trade and can be found in places like Westfield, the City Pub Serrekunda, and Suma Motel in Serrekunda etc, all because of urban population increased and to make money.
Sexual harassment has been defined as unwanted, non-consensual sexual behavior, where one party is imposing sexual attention on another unwilling party. It also includes physical, verbal and non-verbal harassment.


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