Why were women and men around the world dancing on September 16? For female condoms, of course.
Global Female Condom Day (GFCD), founded in 2012 by the National Female Condom Coalition with support from PATH and other partners, is an annual day of advocacy, education, and awareness for female condoms. Despite its unique standing as the only available woman-initiated protection from unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, the female condom remains out of reach for most people—something that GFCD is trying to change.
This year, PATH and its partners celebrated GFCD on September 16 in six countries by supporting an international “Dance for Demand” (Dance4Demand) movement. The event encouraged communities to dance as a visible and fun way to show the world that people want improved access to female condoms.
So how did this look around the world? Let’s check it out.
PATH offices in Kenya hosted a brown bag session for more than 50 PATH staff to educate and drive awareness around female condoms, including the Woman’s Condom. Attendees performed a spirited dance routine to celebrate Global Female Condom Day. Janet Shauri, local coordinator for PATH’s Dance4Demand efforts, says: “The female condom puts the power of self-protection in the hands of women and can prevent both sexually transmitted infections and HIV. I got involved in the Global Female Condom Day because I knew that I wanted to be part of a move that would eventually empower Kenyan women.”
Meanwhile, women and men at two universities in China became stars of their own choreographed music videos to promote Dance4Demand.
PATH offices in China partnered with Marie Stopes International/China to host local events at Nanjing University and Guangxi University, which continued to run through September 26 (World Contraception Day) for ten full days of awareness for contraceptive options, including female condoms.
A group of young men from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications demonstrate their impressive dancing skills to the song “Rise” by Shaprece:
A group of young women from Guangxi University show off their numbers and colors in support of Dance4Demand:
Zambia’s GFCD fun took on a competitive edge in a community essay contest. PATH offices in Zambia and the Zambia Health Education and Communication Trust hosted a ceremony to celebrate essay winners. Local dancers performed at the event and key government officials attended to give speeches and present awards.
In South Africa, PATH offices supported a range of Dance4Demand events at six universities and in public spaces. In addition, PATH partnered with Populations Services International to host a variety of public events as a way of engaging with new community members. For instance, a rooftop salsa dance party in Johannesburg drew over 400 participants, and an advocacy event at the Rosebank Mall drew over 500 attendees who were able to speak with promoters and take product samples.
Utilizing PATH’s Delhi office as a central point for GFCD, participants danced to show their demand for the female condom, an instrument that they believe to be empowering for women in India.
The dance routine below was performed by choreographer Himanshi Karol and produced by AK$ FILMS to celebrate Global Female Condom Day:
This year, PATH employees and community members gathered to Dance4Demand in a “flash mob” routine in the public space outside of PATH’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The flash mob drew a lot of support and attention and was featured in The Seattle Times.