Female condoms allow women to make their own sexual and reproductive health decisions, thereby reducing their chances of unintended pregnancy and the contraction of sexually transmitted infections. However, female condom use is not a widely known and accepted method of contraception in Malawi. In order to help educate the public and promote female condom use in Malawi, The Hunger Project facilitated the third annual Global Female Condom Day on September 16, 2015.
The Hunger Project-Malawi, with support from the Female Health Company (FHC), the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), and UNFPA, has been leading Global Female Condom Day Celebrations in Malawi since 2013. This year, The Hunger Project organized a high impact national outdoor event in Kasungu district in the central region of Malawi. Top officials, including the Minister of Health in Malawi, were honored at the event which was attended by 3,000 Malawian citizens from all walks of life.
The theme of this year’s Global Female Condom Day was “Dance4Demand in Support of Female Condoms,” which sought to increase awareness of female condoms in Malawi and call on government and development partners to commit to procuring more condoms and allocating more resources for their production. The celebration began with a march in the main street of Kasungu Town Assembly, bringing the city to a standstill for female condoms, followed by speeches and activities held at Chankhanga primary school ground.
The Hunger Project-Malawi Program Officer, Hester Nyasulu, explained that most mechanisms for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy afford all the power to the men. This often gives women little say in their own reproductive health. By promoting a tool that gives women the power to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy, The Hunger Project not only improves the sexual and reproductive health of women and men, but also empowers women to be in charge of of their own bodies–and their futures.
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Published September 2015.