Students or Prostitutes?

On Saturday nights, as many as 100 young Arba Minch University female students roam the major hotels of the small town, Arba Minch. Their costumes vary: light frocks, skimpy dresses, and glow-in-the-dark pants. They are from different parts of the country: country side, towns, Addis Ababa, Harar, and others. But they have only one thing to sell: sex.For the construction workers and business men who carry out their occupation in the small emerging town, Arba Minch is like “Town of Cheap Love,” the town l in the southern part of Ethiopia smorgasbord of lust. Even some foreign , most of them are Europeans tourists can pause on their way to Omo Jinka at Arba Minch hotels rest stops and pick up a girl for just $ 10 to 15  — maybe one as young as 19 — for the whole day and night.Most young female university students have been cajoled into this kind of sexual promiscuous life by people that are working in hotels and even some senior university who want money for their “Khat” . But not all the pimps are hotel people. Often it is other female students who have suffered from same cajole negotiates the deal for their innocent friend.Here in Arba Minch lust has cash value; the sell has no rules . It is encouraged by massive expansion of university students in a small town which resulted some sort of mini socioeconomic movements: the increase in tourist mobility in the southern Ethiopian parts, the growing income disparity of Ethiopians. But its effect is most devastating on an individual level. Young Ethiopians who represents Ethiopia’s future are simply considered as commodities and traded in hotels. I believe it is not only sprits that are  dishonored over and over but also there is also social cost or disease.

6 Comments

  1. I’ve gone through what u posted n couldn’t believe what my eyes were reading! it’s really shocking……..i was there for around three years, but I’ve not seen such ruddy practices there! but heard such rumors. .Those shameful girls would defame the name of innocent girls in the university!I’m really ashamed of their awful deeds! I don think one should tell them how much they r responsible to their country,………….anyway, they shouldn’t lead us to a hasty generalization of university girls. it is always true that there r good and bad people every where!

    1. Their is no way in the world you could persuade those, hormone hungry teen’s, to stop and make them think that, if they fail to graduate, they will not be able to fit in the society. I mean dont get me wrong i have been their, we used to scramble for all the girls, but now adays selling them selves to the- green-poket-pervert’s has become the same fashion as them skinny jeans they wear!

  2. Dear Endalk,

    I deeply appreciate your openess on this taboo topic that is so much neglected!

    The situation is the same in Bahir Dar and most other Ethiopian universities: as a consequence pregnancy, abortion and HIV are big issues.
    I work together with Bahir Dar university on the topics of sexual exploitation and sexual harassment. There is a long way to go to change.
    It has to be considered that even the girls who opt FOR education and do not engage in prostitution have to suffer. Because of the prostitute students all female students end up having a very bad reputation. I know BD uni students who prefer not to leave the campus to avoid being insulted by the men in the community. Its very sad.

    I think that the university itself has to play a crucial role! Instead of general awareness rising on HIV and gender, the reality has to be adressed. HIV and Gender clubs should document testimonies of drop out students and discuss them with fresh students etc.
    Some structural problems could be faced by universities easily: For example, students do not know if they drop out or not until they come back to the campus after the summer vacation. Often, when they learn about their drop out they are too ashamed to go back home and instead work in bars or as commercial sex workers.

    Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the problem is even more complex. As additionally to the girls engaged in prostitution and sugar daddies relations there is a big problem of sexual harassment, mainly sex for grades with teachers within campus. Teachers do force female students into sex and improve their grades or prevent drop out exchanging sexual favors. As well the ladies themselves address teachers and offer them sex in exchange. The peer pressure among teachers is big, following the motto, “You do not engage with students? You have to be gay or impotent!” I only know one university (Haramaya) where disciplinary consequences are in place and enforced.

    There is an urgent need for the university administrations to tackle this issue.
    The first step is to discuss the problems openly!
    Can you start at your university?

  3. Thank you all for your comment. Actually this is just a start towards an open discussion!
    Lots of people in the campus come to me give their opinions regarding the issue I raised!
    I will keep up updating this issue in the future!
    Thank you

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