SA Women say they like it better condomised and circumcised
South African women say they want their men to get circumised and to use condoms. A new billboard campaign by Brothers for Life is hoping to open up the space for dialogue, debate and discussion between men and women about women’s views on male circumcision and safer sex.
In a study conducted by CADRE to inform the campaign women say that they want and have a role to play in talking to and encouraging their partners to get circumcised. One participant said that women should encourage their partners to get circumcised and should tell him that it is safe to do so.
Women say men who are circumcised are better because it is more hygienic , they say it is safer because it reduces their risk of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) that causes cervical cancer and their risk and that of their partner to STIs and HIV. Women say its sexier because its cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing without the foreskin.
In the focus group discussions and Interviews women say that men should get circumcised before they or their partners get sick and that both partners need to stand together to protect their health and think about their lives.
A participants said that men who are circumcised perform better because with the foreskin it is tight so it can’t go back, where as once it is circumcised the penis is able to move backward greater than before it was circumcised. Another says that it also prevents bruising and small cuts making sex more pleasurable both for him and for her.
The study also asked men what they thought about women talking and promoting circumcision. Some men said they love the idea, because it would give men something to think about if their partners are involved and encouraging them to get circumcised. And one man said that even though he could not understand it, his partner said that that there was a difference for her after he got circumcised.
Others hated the idea saying that women should not talk about circumcision, and the fact that female nurses may conduct the circumcision was a big put off. Another man says that women have their own issues to deal with such as pregnancy and menstruation and therefore did not see the need for women to get involved in talking about circumcision.
In relation to condoms, over 60% of young women say they used a condom at last sex. However in other studies men and women say that one of the partners needs to initiate condom usage.
The new Brothers for Life billboard campaign recognises that the majority of women prefer men condomised and circumised with the tag line “I like it better, condomised and circumcised”.
The campaign is not only the outcome of the focus group discussions but was developed by young women who were asked to work with the designers to develop a campaign for men that promotes safer sex and circumcision.
Brothers for Life together with ZAZI will be embarking on a roadshow starting off in Gauteng that aims to engage men and women in communities around medical male circucmision and the use of contraceptives and condoms. The roadshow will take place at:
* 19 February, Chiawelo Taxi Rank, Soweto
* 26 Feruary, Soshanguve Taxi Rank. Soshanguve, Pretoria
* 05 March, Toekomsrus Taxi Rank, Randfontein
* 10 March, Hillbrow, Joubert Park
* 16 March, Marabastad Taxi Rank, Pretoria
* 23 March, Diepsloot Taxi Rank, Diepsloot.
Though the campaign Brothers for Life is hoping to challenge traditional norms and practices by recongising that women in society have an equal role to play when it comes to talking about their sexual needs and wants, including medical male circumcision and the use of condoms.
Brothers for Life is inviting women to have their say about whether they prefer it condomised and circumcised by posting it under the #welikeitbetter or #ilikeitbetter.
Brothers for Life is a collaborative collaborative effort led by South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Department of Health, USAID/PEPFAR, Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), Sonke Gender Justice, the United Nations System in South Africa and other civil society partners working in the field of HIV prevention and Health.
For more information – www.brothersforlife.org.za, www.facebook.com/brothersforlifeyenzakahle and twitter handle @ _B4l_
For men wanting to get circumcised, they can find the nearest clinic from by visiting www.healthsites.org.za or sms the word “MMC” to 43740.