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Councillors complain about the female condom

LINDIWE MOZOLA
SEROWE: Central District Councillors have called for the innovation of female condoms to be user-friendly to women, to increase their usage.

Councillors complained on Tuesday during a full council meeting that women do not use the condoms because they are not comfortable.

Shashe West Councillor, Sabata Mphaphazi said that the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership should improve the female condom, only then women can own and use it in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Many women have no interest in their condom. Some say it causes discomfort to them hence making it difficult to use even though it could be one of the vital interventions used to fight HIV/AIDS.  The fact is that their male counterparts are also reluctant to use theirs,” she said.

Councillor for Maitengwe North, Chose Milidzani concurred that many women say that using the female condom is disgusting and takes away the pleasure of sexual intercourse

“So, what is needed is to mobilise social workers and stakeholders in the war against HIV, AIDS and other STIs to educate and demonstrate to our women how to use the female condom,” he said. According to the councillor, research shows that female condoms are more effective and more protective in the prevention of STIs and in family planning than male condoms.

Lesedi Phuthego, councillor for Mogome/Mokgware, said that male partners should encourage their female counterparts to use the condom. The introduction of the female condom provided a turning point for women and the role they play in negotiating safe sex.  It was meant to equip women with means of protecting themselves against HIV/AIDS and other STIs, as well as to help them with family planning.

“However, it is not the case as women still rely on men to provide condoms

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during sexual intercourse therefore calls for serious interventions in mobilising women for their condom and how it gives them control when it comes to sexual intercourse,” said the councillor.

Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership co-director, Dr Mompati Mmalane had earlier made a presentation on the effects of HIV/AIDS in the country.

Responding to the councillors, Mmalane said his organisation would consider modifying the condom, but said that education on the use of the female condom is lagging.

He called for civic leaders to play an active role in this respect.

“Education should also reach their male counterparts as well so that they can encourage their partners to use the female condom. I trust the women and I know that if they are well taught they will take a leading role and we can reach our goal of zero HIV/AIDS new infections,“ he said. t-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US; mso-bidi-language:AR-SA'>Vavi said the most important thing is to develop an alternative that unites the working class wherever they are and that there IS need for independent, militant and democratically worker-controlled unions, internationally.  He said public sectors could not hide behind a label of being apolitical. “Whether we like it or not, we are involved in politics. If politics is about the distribution of power and resources, we have to be part of the equation not in terms of this or that party politics, but the governance of our societies. We represent workers, and we must therefore engage organisationally and politically to ensure that the needs of workers are properly addressed,” said Vavi.



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