In Zimbabwe´s HIV hotspots towns and regions, girl as young as 12 are selling sex for empty beer and beverages bottles, a research from one of the country´s leading child protection civil-society organizations reveals.
According to the Zimbabwe National Council for The Welfare of Children, soaring deaths of parents and acute food hunger is tipping these underage girls into selling their bodies.
In low-income slums like Epworth, in the capital Harare and Ngundu, a rural town along the busiest international highway in Southern Africa, these young girls have little knowledge of safe sex and limited voice to negotiate the use of condoms, says the report.
The report is titled: “Young Women in Commercial Sexual Exploitation along Two Transport Corridors in Zimbabwe: Causes, Initiation, Prevalence and Use of Hiv and Social Services.”
The project sampled and assessed up to 300 young girls engaged in sex for money trade along Zimbabwe´s road highway arteries.
Maxim Murungweni, a senior officer with the ZNCWC said it was disgraceful that poverty has motivated young girls to accept empty beer bottles in exchange for selling their bodies.
“Can you imagine that some young girls whom we interviewed said we receive empty beer or soft drinks bottles as payment for sex? They said they would go on to sell such bottles for $US0, 50 each,” he said while unveiling the report on Saturday in Harare, Zimbabwe´s capital.
He added – “Even though the majority of young girls said they received cash in exchange for sex; their payment also came in form of food, blankets even clothes.”
He revealed, “The highest amount these young girls can earn in a day is $16.”
(Picture caption: women traders sleep overnight on the streets of Masvingo, central Zimbabwe)
(Picture credit: WTR editors)
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