‘Virgin Scholarships’ in Sierra Leone

female students in africa

Illustration. Image via 40acresproduction.com

The city of Bo in Sierra Leone is offering scholarships to female students who promise to remain virgins until graduation.

The goal of the five-year special scholarship project is to cut teenage pregnancies by ensuring ‘that at least 80 percent of school-going girls keep their virginity until they finish their educational life,’ Bo city council chairman Matthew Margao told the AFP.

If you wonder how will they know if the girls are really virgins, that has been covered as well:

“The council will hire the services of female medical personnel who would prove the authenticity of the girls’ virginity,” Margao told AFP.

The so-called ‘virgin scholarships’ plan has been criticized by parents and civil rights groups.

Abibatu Mansaray, spokesperson for local NGO Women’s Rights, said the move “borders on the violation of the girls’ human rights. I dont think it is the right way to draw attention to the issue of teenage pregnancy”.

“I cannot see myself allowing people to examine my daughter because of a scholarship,” said Aminata Lahai, a single parent.