POPULATION Services International Zimbabwe (PSI) expects to have sold 20 million female condoms by end of year with the help of hair dressers and barbers across the country.
Speaking at the Global Female Condom Day commemorations held at the Chinhoyi University of Technology on Wednesday, PSI social marketing director Kumbirai Chatora hailed hairdressers and barbers for helping market the new Care female condom.
“Talking to women, we have realised that hair salons offer a comfortable environment for them to talk about the female condom without feeling embarrassed,” she said.
“As society, we should create an environment where people do not feel embarrassed being seen buying condoms.”
The Care female condom, which was introduced recently, is said to be made of a thinner, latex-free material that does not make noise during sexual activity. The condom is affordable.
“The condoms cost only 20 cents for a pack of two pieces, which means that for only 20 cents you can have two rounds of sex. So there is no reason for anyone not to have protected sex,” Chatora said.
The commemorations were attended by scores of people ranging from local healthcare givers, musicians, university students and the Chinhoyi community at large.
Makonde MP Jennifer Mhlanga who was guest of honour commended the government, National Aids Council and PSI for ensuring a reduction in the number of new HIV infections by providing healthcare services and advocating for protection.
She said younger women were at a higher risk of contracting HIV than men because of cross-generational sexual relationships sociocultural barriers that limit their decision to negotiate for safe sex.
“Women are taught to be submissive to their husbands thereby making it difficult to bring out issues of sex in the open,” she said.
Mhlanga urged men to take up a positive role in supporting women and encourage them to use the female condom.
The day has been commemorated on September 16 since 2012.