The Effect Of Street Hawking Among Teenage Girls

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The Effect Of Street Hawking Among Teenage Girls


Street hawking among children is a global sociological problem. Existing records in Nigeria have shown that the number of children involved in street hawking, especially in the urban areas is on the increase. Studies have mainly focused on the causes, prevalence and socio-economic consequences of Teenage girl street hawking with little emphasis on its relationship with peace and security. Therefore, effect of street hawking among teenage girls in Nigeria were examined.

Discussants submitted that hawkers were exposed to accidents, drug-peddling and addiction; they became vulnerable to sexual harassment and contributed to environmental pollution and hazards. Complacent hawkers were said to have aided and spied for criminal gangs and engaged in petty stealing.

Teenage girl street hawking poses a major threat to social, physical, economic, and environmental peace and security; thus necessitating the need to improve the quality of lives of citizens by eradicating poverty and introducing free basic education for school age children. Therefore, the State should ensure the enforcement of the legislation on child rights to deter children from street hawking.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Street hawking among the children has been a trend in Africa for a very long time. It had manifested as inter and intra-generational trade transfer. Existing literature has clearly shown that there is a dearth of record on the commencement of teenage girl street hawking in Nigeria but social indicators reveal that parents had been engaging children in transporting and/or sales of farm produce and search for fire wood to sell in the city to meet their personal needs since the 1970s.

However, teenage girl street hawking has become wide spread in Nigeria (Ebigbo, 2003) and despite the public enlightenment campaign in the media and the signing into law of the Child Rights Act; teenage girl street hawking business is on the increase. Efforts by government agencies to stop the practice, especially in the cities, have not yielded considerable result rather the number of children who get into street trading has been increasing daily. United Nations International Children Educational Fund (UNICEF)Nigeria (2006) cited by Femi (2011) estimated that fifteen million children are engaged in various forms of labour in Nigeria, including those who hawk goods on the street.

According to Jimu (2005), street hawking is to a great extent regarded as the major unconstitutional aspect of the informal economy in Africa, in which children accounted for 60% of street hawkers. Teenage girl street hawkers in Nigeria often operate in high- risk environments which constantly expose them to hazardous incidents that result in bodily harm, injuries or even death (Onakomaiya 1988). To him this is somewhat expected due to the way and manner of the road users. For instance, most drivers are careless and inconsiderate of other road users; they drive at high speed and some do not even understand the road signs. They hardly maintain their vehicles, often get drunk while driving, forgetting the poor condition of Nigerian roads which are not well maintained and has transformed the roads into unsafe arenas that claim lives and property (Onakomaiya, 1988). According to Gbadamosi (2006), 9,248 vehicular accidents on Nigerian streets were recorded between 2000 and 2005.

Estimate shows that an average of twenty-five people is involved in street accident in the country which makes auto accident a major cause of death on the street where child hawkers are often at the receiving end (Adewumi, 2009). Teenage girl street hawkers in Nigeria are bedevilled by what can be termed a multiple tragedy. Among the tragedies are the child vulnerability to crime in the street, the perils posed by the roads to teenage girl street hawkers and the government’s alienation, harassment and abandonment of the teenage girl street hawkers. Hence, efforts to earn a living through street hawking under such a circumstance are highly risky. Precarious as this situation seems, however, teenage girl street hawkers have continually braced the odds to make ends meet (Umahi, 2010).

Street hawking entails selling, on the streets, various items such as beef rolls, vegetables, bottled water, groundnuts, walnuts, bread, beverages, sweets, mobile chargers, and wristwatches among other items. Many children often hawk consumable and non-consumable goods on the motorways with high traffic and selected residential areas in a bid to survive and make a living (Ugochukwu, 2012 and Abisoye, 2013). Teenage girl street hawking is associated with several hazards such as sexually transmitted infections, vulnerability to unwanted pregnancies that may cause unsafe abortion (Lee 2004, Lu 2011, Kwankye 2007).

Admassie (2002) also studied the ‘Negative effects of street hawking on private and social returns’. Campbell and Ntsabane (1995), UNICEF (1992), had worked on how street hawking contributed to homelessness and poverty. Ofonime and Chukwu Emeka (2015) found a relationship between social implication of teenage girl street hawking and poor academic performance. Aderinto (2000) had also established a relationship between violence and street hawking. Studies by Hughes (2009),Dunapo (2002), have confirmed the susceptibility of hawkers to petty crimes and acts which lead to deviant behaviours.

Researchers have shown that since the 1980s till date, there have been consistent breakdowns of law and order in various parts of Nigeria. Although other contributory factors have been identified, this study shows that an inherent challenge in teenage girl street hawking has contributed tremendously to some of the conflicts pelting the country. Street hawking is often seen in the light of informal economy. This has prevented a critical examination of its inherent negative roles in the lives of teenage girls. Amoo (2012),Ashimolowo (2010) and Esin (2005),state that research interest on teenage girl street hawking is rising because of the different economic, social and health-related consequences to those engaging in the it

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Since the 1970s, United Nations had classified teenage girl street hawking as a form of girl child labour and it is globally recognised among in the developing world, including Nigeria, this practice has been a source of concern to researchers, governments, and members of the public. Several state governments in Nigeria, including that of Oyo State Government, have enacted laws to curtail this menace but have recorded very little success in this regard.

Lagos State has created both traffic and environmental Task Forces to curtail and/or eradicate teenage girl street hawking but it persisted. Reports revealed that Nigeria and other developing countries are burdened by overpopulation and high rates of unemployment, poverty and inflation, as well as meagre wages and unsuitable working conditions. These factors have impacted highly to rates of hawking by children in the society and consequently have led to increasing rate of criminal activities on high ways in addition to different environmental dilapidations which ultimately threaten peace and security in the society. Therefore, the focus of this study is the examination of the effect of street hawking on teenage girls of Ibadan.

Teenage girl street hawking poses great security threat to peace and security. First, a child that spends most times on the streets, away from home, hustling to assist the family or pay for school expenses due to poverty level in the family, can easily be vulnerable to negative influences, such as petty stealing, hooliganism and prostitution from delinquents, miscreants and hardened criminals. In the hawking environment, easily, the child may be influenced into drug peddling and robbery. Secondly, street hawking affects the academic performance of teenage girl street hawkers because it leads to absenteeism and truancy since the child street hawker spends a relatively lesser period of time in school and does not benefit adequately from the educational system which can lead to the teenage girl street hawkers dropping out of school.

Studies have mainly focused on the causes, prevalence and social-economic consequences of teenage girl street hawking with little emphasis on the effect on the child.

Essentially, there is a correlation between the availability of uncontrolled teenage girl street hawkers in the society moving from street to street from morning till late in the night their attendant indolence and peace and security in the community and the nation at large. The dangers that revolve round teenage girl street hawking are high. So, the architecture of the community and the country has to take teenage girl street hawkers into cognisance.

1.3 Research Questions

This study used the following research questions to interrogate the topic:

  1. What are the predisposing factors necessitating teenage girl street hawking in the study areas?
  2. What categories of teenage girl street hawkers are identified in the study area?
  3. How does street hawking affect teenage girl street hawkers in the study area?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

This research assessed teenage girl street hawking and its implications for peace and security in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.

The objectives of the research were to:

  1. Investigate predisposing factors necessitating teenage girl street hawking in the selected local government areas of Ibadan.
  2. Identify the categories of teenage girl street hawkers in the study area;
  3. Assess the effects of street hawking on teenage girl street hawkers in the study area; and

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study intends to fill that gap by examining the effect of street hawking on teenage girls. The study will enrich the body of literature and make up for the death of scholarly materials on the subject. The study proffers suggestion to the government on how teenage girl street hawking can be minimised if not totally eradicated. For civil society, this study is relevant to child development and development theories, securitisation, social conflict and motivating youth to learn to improve on the ideas they had, and will reveal to them that divided attention might be an obstacle to better performance in school. Comparatively, a child spending most of his or her time on the street without adequate supervision easily falls into juvenile deliquesce as it is obvious that street hawking exposes children to bad habits and causes distraction which is dangerous to their studies. The study will help the social workers, the Nongovernment organisations to appreciate the enormous challenges that are associated with street hawking and come up with appropriate policy framework to nip the menace in the bud.

Thus, this research will serve as a guide to the parents and guardians to learn how to set goals for their children and be motivated to endure sending their children/wards to acquire formal education instead of compelling them to assist in boosting family income through hawking on the streets. The study noted that if an individual’s needs are acquired through negative means, it could solve one problem, but create more difficult or greater issues such as creating disorder in civil society at large.

1.6 Operational Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this research, a few terms have been redefined:


Hawking in this research means street business.


This refers to hawking location where teenage girl street hawkers patrol to sell their goods and perform their business activities.

Street Hawking:

This is the act of selling retail goods directly on busy streets and in cities by children without adult guides.


This is any person from age 13 -17 years.


This is any person from age18–40years.

Girl Child Labour:

This is the exposure of young children below 18 years to work in a dangerous and unhealthy environment especially when done without adult supervision.

Child Rights:

This has to do with the rights of a child to have, standard education, good welfare, legal protection, good health, freedom from child marriage as enshrined in municipal and international laws.

Child Development:

This refers to the total development of the child academically, and changes that show that the child is physically healthy, and mentally confident.

1.7 Hypothesis

H0: There is no significant joint contribution of the predisposing factors of street hawking to teenage girls

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research report dividing into five chapters:

  • Chapter One deals with the Introduction of the study which includes Background of the study, Statement of problems, Objective of the study, Limitation, and scope of the study, and the Significance of the study.
  • Chapter Two presented the related literature review regarding the research area.
  • Chapter Three showed the Research Methodology of the study.
  • Chapter Four reports the Analysis and Interpretation of the data.
  • Chapter Five discussed with Summary of the study Conclusions of the study and also presented Suggestions for further research were given.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

Nigerian Government’s efforts at the reduction, removal, and eradication of teenage girl street hawking in the state has not been effective for several years. The phenomenon of teenage girl street hawking has resulted in increase in cultism incidences, reduction in social development and aiding crimes, high poor academic performance of children, which has led to some children dropping out of school, increase in accidents, vulnerability to sexual harassment and sexually transmitted diseases and contribution to environmental pollution and hazard. This study has succeeded in identifying the causes, patters, consequences of teenage girl street hawking on the streets of Ibadan city.

Based on the outcome of the findings, the study concluded that teenage girl street hawking poses major threat to social, physical, economic and environmental peace and security. Therefore, it was concluded that street hawking affects the peace and security of Ibadan city because various negative and destructive incidents are linked to teenage girl street hawking in Ibadan city.

5.2 Recommendations

Based on the findings, the following recommendations are suggested: government should

Ensure the enforcement of Law on Child Right Act:

National Security is about protecting the interests of citizens, providing enabling environment which is free of dangers that could inhibits the pursuit of good of all. It is the measures and processes of preserving law and maintaining order. Government should enact laws to protect children. The State should ensure the enforcement of the legislation on child rights to deter children from street hawking. In addition, such laws should be enforced such that punitive measures are taken against defaulters. In other words, government should start to arrest parents of under-age street hawkers who do not go to school or who hawk during school period. Such steps will make parents to sit up and monitor their children in schools.

Sustain free basic education:

Lack of education or poor quality education is a factor that contributes to high incidence of teenage girl street hawking. Orientation programmes should be done for illiterates and poor socio-economic status family on the need to embrace education for their children. Education is considered as one of the main alternatives to abolishing teenage girl street hawking but its unavailability has caused many children to remain on the streets. Government should introduce free and compulsory education from primary to secondary level as a matter of policy. This will help indigent children to have access to formal basic education and become informed and literate. Education will enable them acquire basic numeracy and literacy skills, acquire functional skills in their fields and this will eventually lead to economic and social growth. The State should also subsidise transportation for school children and enforce the legislation on the rights of the children to basic education.

Improve the quality of lives of citizens by eradicating poverty:

Government should endeavour to improve the economy by intervening in the problem of unemployment; improve the remuneration of workers; improve infrastructure; create job opportunities; and empower the masses. This would go a long way in raising the socio-economic conditions of most families and consequently reduce the rate of poverty in the country.

The government should also introduce skill acquisition programmes to support teenage girl street hawkers and their incomes. Opportunities should be given to teenage girl street hawkers to take up vocational training skills as an addition to formal education. In future, such skills would impact on the socio-economic status of youths in the society. Hawkers should be encouraged and assisted by nongovernmental organisations, governmental organisations, and civil society organisations, among others, to form more vibrant associations that would advocate their welfare and champion their course.

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