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It’s always a joy to do something fun and empowering for women. So when PWI was contacted to set up shop at the annual University of Auckland (UoA) Womensfest, we jumped at the chance! Thinking of this as just the right opportunity to reignite some steam in broader awareness and knowledge of the female condom (FC) we set to redesigning our campaign for the event, looking to appeal to a younger, more feisty crowd. Throw in a bit of brawny feminism, a dash of pumped up patronage for women deciding what they want to do with their own bodies and a splash of female camaraderie, and you’ve got a retro, vintage look for a timely topic of conversation.
Anyone who knows some of the core work we do here at PWI will be well aware of the fact that we have been promoting the FC since 2009 (?) and have passionately advocated the many benefits of its use. However, this amazing tool has sadly been overlooked by both men and women due to its low-key presence in the mainstream. That was something PWI intended to change at the UoA Womensfest on August 10, 2017.
For the event we went armed with the FC starter pack – a goody bag of sorts containing one FC, brochures on how to use the FC and why we ladies should consider trading in regular condoms with FCs, a red ribbon and a PWI lollipop (because we believe in sweetening the deal) – which was given free of charge to all those who stopped by, watched a demonstration and bought a delicious $2 cupcake. Needless to say, our stall generated plenty of buzz and, even better, a whole lot of interest. Plenty of young women (and a few curious young men) stopped by in between rushing to classes and asked to be told a bit more about the FC and its many benefits.
we at PWI like to think that if you can wear a tampon, you will certainly have no problem inserting and using an FC. Sex is just as enjoyable when using an FC, perhaps even more so as you can insert it a couple of hours prior to intercourse hence not having to interrupt your foreplay. Feedback has been that it is extremely pleasurable for both men and women because of the ease with which it can be worn and the comfort of the material with which it is made (synthetic latex). PWI is extremely glad that it was able to introduce so many young women to the idea of being in charge of their own bodies and not having to be dependent on their partner’s decision to wear a condom or not. The FC is also as dependable as regular condoms when it comes to protection against STIs, including HIV.
Another main feature of our stall was the facility of free rapid HIV testing for the students. Young people in particular need to be made aware of the importance of sexual health and the need to get tested if there are concerns about the precautions followed whilst engaging in sexual activity. We managed to get that message out there too with students keen to get tested .