Tshepiso Gower, 19, f, Botswana, a member of the British Council’s Global Changemakers, reported African girls are encouraged to go to school so that “they do not go for short cuts like sugar daddies.”
Materialism and girl-to-girl peer pressure influence girls who are conscious of the different levels of wealth and poverty. Small differences, such as having transportation to school vs. walking, make girls susceptible to agreeing to sugar daddies for rides, for instance. Girls need to support other girls to make good decisions. [i
I asked Maame, age 23, if this is a widespread problem:
The situation you mention is very common in many parts of Ghana. Usually most of these girls come from homes where selling sex is frowned upon. However, due to dire economic crises in many homes today, unemployment and inadequate education, young girls are left with the option of selling sex to sugar daddies in order to continue to attend school or to just take care of their household. Most parents are aware of this but usually cannot stop their children because they may also be benefiting indirectly from these services.
[i] Maria Eitel, “Report on Davos Forum,” January 30, 2010,