GIF supports innovation to prevent age-disparate transactional sex in Tanzania.

Feb 09, 2024

GIF is pleased to announce that we have awarded a $230k pilot grant to Amani Girls Organisation (AGO), a non-profit using a radio drama to tackle age-disparate transactional sex between young girls and older men in Tanzania.

Age-disparate transactional sex is a product of both poverty and underlying societal gender inequalities. Defined as sex exchanged for material support between a young girl and an older man, this type of sexual violence carries wide-ranging consequences for young victims, including HIV, unsafe abortions, early school dropouts, and forced marriage.

AGO’s innovation, the Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA), aims to tackle the underlying gender and social norms of this problem using a radio drama and concurrent educational curricula sessions, addressed at both girls and men. The innovation can be deployed hand-in-hand with other behavioural, economic and biomedical interventions to provide a strong solution to this multifaceted problem.

Today, teenage pregnancy is the leading cause of death amongst adolescent girls in Africa, with teenage pregnancy rates at around 27%. In Tanzania, young girls also account for a staggering 80% of new HIV infections. There is also a danger that problems will be exacerbated by climate-related shocks, since extreme events are linked to an increased likelihood of sexual abuse.

To help proactively engage young girls and men on such crucial issues, topics covered in AGO’s intervention include sexual and reproductive health, adolescent health and development, understanding transactional sex dynamics, and developing long-term aspirations and self-efficacy.

To help tackle these deep-rooted issues as effectively as possible, the $230k grant from GIF will support AGO to de-risk and prepare for future scale-up of the intervention, with the long-run vision of a national scale-up. AGO will do this by capitalising on the opportunity of a new President committed to promoting gender equality, through systematically engaging with government and other potential scaling partners.