Kenya: Women aim to end 'rampant' sex-for-fish trade

A fish market on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya Kenyan market traders hope to end the sex-for-fish practice

Women in Kenya are trying to end the practice of female traders having sex with local fishermen in order to secure a regular supply of fish, it's been reported

Sex-for-fish, known locally as "jaboya", has been blamed for spreading HIV/Aids in western Kenya's Lake Victoria region, but women's groups have launched a campaign which aims to stamp it out, The Star newspaper reports.

A project launched by the Victoria Institute for Research and Environmental Development International gives women their own boats, allowing them to repay the cost of the craft through fishing. Dan Abuto, a field officer for the institute, says the repayment money will be pooled, allowing more boats to be built. "The project aims to address jaboya as a public health issue, lessen poverty and gender inequality while being both sustainable fiscally and environmentally," he told The Star.

Widows are said to be particularly at risk from sex-for-fish, especially if they have families to support.

Women's groups say the 80,000 shilling (£560, $920) boats will not only end the sex-for-fish practice - which they describe as "rampant" - but will also slow the transmission rates of HIV. One local official told The Star that "Jaboya is partly to blame for the HIV/AIDS prevalence. If this project succeeds, the spread of the disease will come down".

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