Objective: This research is interested in the social transformations in francophone Africa, in particular urbanization and the communication revolution, and their influence on the lifestyles of young adolescents in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The objective is to examine the opportunities, challenges, and risks associated with these societal changes and related perceptions according to the gender of adolescents. Method: This qualitative study, conducted in 2015, uses data collected through semi-structured interviews with 64 adolescents from 10 to 14 years and their parents/guardians in Ouagadougou and Kinshasa. The analysis followed a deductive and inductive process to identify how societal changes offer new possibilities that are associated with risks for adolescent girls and boys. Results: According to participants, adolescence is accompanied by more opportunities today than in the past. Autonomy/freedom of movement, access to formal education, and access to information bring with them increased risks that differ by gender. Girls are exposed to an increase in sexual risks, boys to violence and consumption of alcohol. Conclusion: These results illustrate the ways in which societal transformations in francophone Africa influence the gendered socialization of young adolescents. The lifestyle changes and risks associated with them call for programs adapted for girls and to boys that exploit new communication tools to increase their access to information.
- Burkina Faso
- Democratic republic of the congo
- Gender identity
- Social change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health