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Childhood On the Market: Teenage Prostitution in Southern Africa

Viktoria Perschler-Desai


Child prostitution is not exclusively a form of child abuse. It is increasingly a form of labour performed for income and often survival. Many young women turn to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves and their families financially. Some girls already have low-paying jobs but work as prostitutes because of the higher income it provides. The growth of child prostitution in Southern Africa is due largely to poverty, unequal gender relationships, a breakdown of family structures, limited access to education by young girls and sexual abuse. This paper discusses the results of a quick exploratory survey conducted in Mozambique which focused on the incidence of child prostitution and the awareness and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. An appendix gives details of selected interviews conducted in Beira, Mozambique.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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