Sierra Leone Offers Scholarships To Virgins

In an attempt to combat teen pregnancy in a country with one of the highest rates, Sierra Leone is offering scholarships to girls who remain virgins. In the West African country, 40 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 29 have children by the time they were 18-years-old. To be eligible for the university scholarship, girls 12-16 must be able to prove their virginity through an exam with a nurse. An interesting way to encourage education, but something about “proving” one’s virginity seems off to us. While there’s an element of female empowerment to the new program, it certainly doesn’t take too kindly to men—boys responsible for getting a girl pregnant will be banned from all schools. A local elder, Julius Koroma explains the punishment further, “For those bike riders who impregnates a girl student, their bikes will be confiscated, sold and the expenses go towards the upkeep of the baby.” Bikes for babies? That’s certainly a new social currency. [Yahoo News]