Transactional Sex - Unequal Sexual Relationships

At the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, discourse on sexual and reproductive rights appropriately characterised sexual coercion as a symptom of the limited life options of girls and women. This suggests that programmes designed to reduce sexual activity among girls must not only offer information, they must also promote public acknowledgment of the prevalence of sexual coercion and of the gender inequality that fosters it.117 Sexual coercion has direct physical and emotional consequences for the girls, including STIs, HIV, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and other gynaecological disorders. Long-term consequences include a tendency later in life to engage in unsafe behaviours such as substance abuse, choosing abusive partners, having multiple sexual partners, and lower use of contraception.

Addressing Transactional/Exploitative Relationships Through Sport
Using sport and the relationships created between adults and peers within the programme, can be foundations for education on how honest, non-exploitative relationships function. By building leadership and agency, and educating girls on their sexual and reproductive rights through a well-designed sport programme, participants have the confidence and ability to demand consensual, non-exploitative and honest sexual or non-sexual relationships. By educating adolescent girls on what these types of relationships look like and informing them that it is their right to these types of relationships, they can use the strength of their sport teams and new social networks to exit harmful and unequal relationships and seek safety from GBV that may be a result.

Useful Example - The Use of Theatrics and Drama
Nyemu Katsande was a coach and assistant director at Edmund Garwe Trust (EGT) in Zimbabwe. EGT uses netball and life skill sessions to educate girls who are child head-of-households, many of whom have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. Nyemu feels strongly about the need to be extremely open with girls about sexuality to help remove taboos and keep them safe and self-determined. At a holiday party, EGT participants performed a drama that helped bring to light a typical situation that a girl might face in terms of sexuality. In this play a young girl is pressured into having a wealthy boyfriend as a means of providing for her younger sisters and brothers. The boyfriend buys her cell phones and groceries but ends up infecting her with HIV. By enacting this scenario in a hypothetical manner, girls were able to conduct a follow up discussion without any personal attachment.

Adolescent Girl Life Skills:

Practical Ideas: Goal Programme Sessions

  • Bodies and Emotions - To improve awareness and understanding of how gender norms influence men and women to express their emotions, sexuality and experiences.
  • People and Things - To increase understanding about the existence and manifestation of power and rights in a relationship and reflect on how we communicate about and demonstrate power in relationships.