Skip to main content
“They are told by men that they will be given money…... they don’t have sanitary towels, the money help’ them”
American Public Health Association (2020)
  • Leso Munala, St. Catherine University
  • Hamdi Ali, St. Catherine University
  • Emily Hohenshell
Background: Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act against a person’s will. Forms of sexual violence include unwanted sexual touching, unwanted attempted sexual intercourse, including pressured sex in exchange for money and gifts or transactional sex. In Kenya, 1 in 3 girls experience sexual violence prior to the age of 18. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore community and environmental factors associated with sexual violence against school-aged girls in a rural sub-county in Kenya. Design and Methodology: A total of 25 in-depth interviews were conducted with key stakeholders from a rural sub-county in Kenya. Eligible participants were individuals aged 18-65 years from one of the six sectors of interest including; police, healthcare, education, community, religious leaders, and criminal justice sectors. Data was analyzed using conventional content analysis in order to gain an understanding of the stakeholder’s perspectives on sexual violence against school aged girls. Results: One key finding was that school aged girls in this sub- county were engaging in age-disparate transactional sex relationships.The girls’economic vulnerability due to family poverty was identified by all stakeholders as one main reason why school-aged girls in this sub-county engaged in these transactional sex with older men. Additionally, the girls’ sense of agency and available personal assets were said to have an impact on risk taking and vulnerability.
Conclusion: Providing sanitary pads, school transportation, school fee bursaries and schools supplies to school aged girls may help reduce their vulnerability to engage in transactional sex relationships. This finding will be explored and the recommendations for further research will be addressed.
  • Sexual Violence,
  • Kenya,
  • Age-disparate,
  • Transactional sex relationships
Publication Date
October, 2020
This project was funded by an Innovated Scholarship Grant as part of the GHR Foundation’s Academic Excellence Grant to St. Catherine University
Citation Information
Leso Munala, Hamdi Ali and Emily Hohenshell. "“They are told by men that they will be given money…... they don’t have sanitary towels, the money help’ them”" American Public Health Association (2020)
Available at: