Pathfinder International Receives First Place in “Female Condoms Are…” Film Contest for Highlighting Female Condom Work in Mozambique
Pathfinder International is thrilled to announce that “Female Condoms Are… Power. Protection. Pleasure,” based on our female condom work in Mozambique has won the international “Female Condoms Are…” film contest.
The winners, announced Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur at the Women Deliver conference, also include “Female Condoms Are Preferable,” from Cameroon, “Female Condoms Are Pretty Nice,” from Malaysia, and “Female Condoms Are a Woman’s Bargaining Power,” from Kenya.
Winning entries, including Pathfinder’s, were screened on Tuesday before an international audience at Women Deliver, the largest global meeting of the decade to focus on the health and well-being of women and girls. Winners were selected by a panel of five judges with expertise in film, HIV and AIDS, and reproductive health. Pathfinder will receive a cash prize of $5,000 for its winning entry.
Pathfinder is greatly appreciative of the contest organizers—PATH, the Universal Access to Female Condoms (UAFC) Joint Programme, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), and the National Female Condom Coalition (NFCC)—and their commitment to raising awareness about the female condom and its potential for improving women’s health.
“The female condom is still relatively unknown in Mozambique and throughout the world, so providing correct information and overcoming social and cultural barriers are our primary goals.” -Candace LewPathfinder’s entry was filmed by Jaime Jacobsen and inspired by Pathfinder staff who saw an opportunity to take part in the interesting and engaging conversation on female condoms taking place across the globe.
“When a colleague informed us about the contest, we immediately thought that this experience would be great to capture, and important to share,” said Rita Badiani, Pathfinder’s Country Representative in Mozambique. “We have been inspired by the female condom project’s interesting approach to disseminating information and increasing use of the female condom through support from female condom user groups and wanted to share that with the world.”
The female condom, which was recently named a life-saving commodity by the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities, is advantageous in places like Mozambique for a few reasons. Female condoms are the only female-controlled method for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. They also help women of all ages better negotiate safe sex in cultures where gender norms often prevent them from doing so.
“The female condom is still relatively unknown in Mozambique and throughout the world, so providing correct information and overcoming social and cultural barriers are our primary goals,” said Candace Lew, Pathfinder’s Senior Technical Advisor for Contraception. “It’s highly appropriate that the United Nations has named the female condom a lifesaving commodity given its potential for reducing unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion as well as helping prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.”
Pathfinder’s female condom project is part of a consortium with Forum Mulher and PSI supported by The Norwegian Embassy and OXFAM Novib. It works through peer support groups featured in the video, promoting knowledge about female condoms and helping women learn how to negotiate safe sex. Women from the communities in which Pathfinder works are invited to participate in monthly meetings to discuss health-issues in a safe, communal setting where they can bond and develop friendships and a sense of solidarity with their peers.
Jaime Jacobsen, the filmmaker and visionary behind “Female Condoms Are… Power. Protection. Pleasure.” said she was drawn to the project because of the opportunity to highlight social justice issues surrounding sexual and reproductive health.
“I had an incredible experience working together with Pathfinder International and the wonderful group of young people, many of whom are budding community activists, to try and capture how female condoms are changing lives in their community,” Jaime said.
“I hope our film will start a dialogue about the important role men and boys play in empowering the women and girls in their lives.” -Jaime Jacobsen Jaime emphasized that in empowering women through dissemination and promotion of the female condom, we must not forget about the other half of the equation—men. The importance of male involvement is shown in the film through Benjamin, a young male advocate for female condoms who works to create support for female condom use among more resistant men in the community.
“I hope our film will start a dialogue about the important role men and boys play in empowering the women and girls in their lives,” she said. “We need to involve men and boys at the highest level in order to achieve meaningful and lasting change in communities around the world.”
Read more about the film contest and Pathfinder's work with female condoms in Mozambique.
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