Monday, June 22, 2009
Salon.com: Scholarships for Virgins?, by Frieda Klotz:
Girls living in a small province of Sierra Leone called northern Biriwa are being offered scholarships to college -- but only if they can prove they are virgins, an African news website has reported. A community nurse will perform the test, and if the girls pass, they may receive “a lucrative scholarship … for girls between 12 years to 16 years and they could even go to universities with all expenses paid,” said Samuel Kamara, administrative secretary of the Biriwa Youth Alliance for Development Organisation.
This comes on the back of another local ruling from March 2009 that if a girl becomes pregnant, both she and the boy who impregnated her should drop out of school. The aim of these decrees is to combat Sierra Leone’s extremely high child pregnancy and HIV-infection rates.
Julie Graves Krishnaswami