By Yvonne Mufute (Midlands State University)
In most tertiary institutions, female students are more vulnerable as compared to the male students. Young women are affected due to welfare, abusive lecturers, abuse among students and peer pressure.
Female students are at higher risk in institutions such as Midlands State University, Great Zimbabwe University and Chinhoyi University of Technology. The welfare of female students is being affected and as a result some are forced to live the life they do not want.
When we talk of welfare, these are issues related to accommodation, availability of food, conducive learning environment, in short the wellbeing of students.Most students engage in temporary marriages that will last for 3-4 months. A temporary marriage is where by boys and girls stay together as husband and wife and at the end of semester they separate without the knowledge of their parents.
This is caused by high rentals for instance in places like Senga –Nehosho in Gweru, Morningside in Masvingo students pay full rentals $70-90 per head and they will be staying 3-4 pupils in a room.
It’s so expensive as a result students choose to engage in those temporary marriages and some cohabit with others so to share responsibilities and save money for groceries and other necessities.
Due to peer pressure some female students get into contractual relationships with older men in order to carter for their needs and wants like clothes, food and other necessities.
On the other side male landlords demand sex from female students for them not to pay their rentals.
If you reject they will be on your neck giving one a hard time for instance raising rentals, locking the gate before 7pm when others will be in school by that time. Usually girls cannot negotiate for safe sex since they will be in need for money above all as a mere beneficiary in the relationship.
Sexual Transmitted Diseases and HIV have become so common on campus to an extent that campus clinics now provide ARVs and medication for STIs. In some tertiary institutions, female students are forced to have sexual relationships with their lecturers due to financial problems and eagerness to obtain distinctions in their academics.
Lecturers demand sexual favors from female students for them to pass their course and as they go for attachment the bosses will be on their neck demanding sex. Female students are affected in so many ways, hence a lot has to be done to ensure their protection and to guide them so that they make the right decisions for their future.