Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for lærerutdanning og internasjonale studier
Master in International Education and Development (NOMA)
Sudan region of Darfur has been experiencing an internal war which has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and displaced millions of the civilian population. The purpose of this study is to examine factors that increase the vulnerability of girls in Darfur‟s IDP camps to HIV/AIDS. In this thesis I have used a case study approach utilizing qualitative methods to examine how conflict gender, power and HIV/AIDS merge to create situations of risk and vulnerability for girls in a specific IDP camp in Darfur. In total 28 interviews were conducted with IDP girls in the camp, interviews with one member of the IDP camp committee, one lab technician and a head teacher of one of the IDP schools. This study highlights the experiences that the girls in the IDP camp in south Darfur go through and the factors that create risk conditions for them. The study found out that the factors which increase the vulnerability of the girls to HIV/AIDS in Darfur are mainly socio-economic and political ones, relating to situations existing on ground. The environmental problems resulting from the climatic change play a great role in the Darfur conflict, and in turn make people more vulnerable to disaster and disease. Daily activities such as farming and collecting of firewood exposed girls to the risks of being abducted or raped. Additionally, sexual harassment and female genital mutilation are areas of concern as they increase gender inequality and the domination of men. Knowledge about HIV/AIDS is also limited; due to a culture of silence where girls cannot ask for information about sex out of fears that they will be thought to be sexually active.