In this article, based on research I conducted in Western Canada, I discuss the significance of the emerging influence of social media on the overrepresentation of Indigenous girls in sexually exploitative situations. In interviews I conducted with Indigenous sexual exploitation survivors and intervention staff I found that social media is being used to recruit Indigenous girls and keep them exploited in three distinct ways: targeting girls in reserve communities and luring them to the city; setting up so-called dates to keep them off the streets; and facilitating constant communication between the victim and victimizer, thus ensuring that girls are perpetually active and reachable. I respond to these by outlining educational possibilities in order to combat the exposure of these girls to predators on social media sites.
Dustin William Louie
The Ethics of Vulnerability and Agency in Research with Girls in the Sex Trade
Alexandra Ricard-Guay and Myriam Denov
In this article, we examine the ethical realities that emerged from a qualitative study with adolescent girls on sexual exploitation. We outline and articulate the importance of moving beyond the inclusion of girls’ voices in research to discussing the ethical and practical implications of doing so. We consider the notions of power, victimization, and agency and highlight the ethical dilemma of doing research with girls in the sex trade, particularly in a context in which participants’ narratives are characterized by profound ambivalence, as seen in their frequent oscillation between narratives of victimization on the one hand, and of agency and power on the other. The nexus between girlhood studies and ethics provides us with a valuable opportunity to analyze, and thus highlight, the importance of social context in understanding these adolescent girls’ narratives and self-representations.
Hirut Tefferi and Katy Anis
This report aims to identify the individual and external factors that have engendered the development of resilience among Ethiopian secondary school girls. Pact Ethiopia initiated this study on resilience as a component of the GET-SET project in order to better understand how girls overcome and pursue their education despite multifarious adversities in their personal lives and in the wider environment. The GET SET project is funded by the Oak Foundation, a donor which funds activities to combat global social and environmental concern that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged, particularly in relation to child abuse, human rights and women’s development. The GET SET project works to empower girls whose life circumstances put them at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse in their communities and school environment. GET SET builds on a sister project of Pact Ethiopia, Girls’ Empowerment and Management Project (GEM), which provided significant academic strengthening, economic strengthening and life skills training inputs into girls’ lives over a two-year period. GET SET operates around the vicinity of fifteen secondary schools in three regions of Ethiopia: Amhara, Gambella and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR).