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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Lost in freedom: ambivalence on sexual freedom among Burundian adolescents living in the Nakivale refugee settlement, Uganda
Authors:Ruzibiza, Yvette
Berckmoes, Lidewyde H.ISNI
Neema, Stella
Reis, RiaISNI
Periodical:Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters
Geographic terms:Burundi
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/26410397.2021.1889750
Abstract:This paper explores how Burundian adolescents in the Nakivale refugee settlement, Uganda, experience umwidegemvyo, loosely translated as 'freedom', with regard to their sexuality. We draw on ethnographic research conducted between August and November 2017 with adolescents aged 1319 years. Our research included in-depth individual interviews, focus group discussions, and participant observation. We present a context-sensitive appreciation of 'freedom' and its social implications for adolescents' sexual and love relationships. We show how adolescents attribute their sexual experiences and practices, including experimental sex, stress-relief sex and transactional sex, to the freedom experienced in the refugee context. Yet they also view this freedom with ambivalence: while some degree of freedom is desirable, too much is referred to in terms of kutitabwaho n'ababyeyi, loosely translated as 'parental neglect', implying a lack of parental involvement, care and provisioning.