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Sex talks taboo

Mere Naleba
Monday, July 07, 2014

TAVEUNI women's group representative Nanise Tabua said talking openly about sex in the villages and rural communities they visited on the island was a challenge as discrimination against those who tried to talk about sex was rife in village settings.

Mrs Tabua a family planning agent stationed at the Cakaudrove Multiracial Resource station located at Waiyevo Government Station said most times it was the turaga ni koro or the village headmen who would not allow workshops on family planning issues, sexual reproductive health and sexually transmitted infections in their villages or rural communities.

She said even trying to share information of using condoms as teenage pregnancy was high in Taveuni was a taboo.

"I have been giving condoms out for a very long time and the biggest challenge is from the turaga ni koro, because in the spiritual sense this is taboo," she said.

"So we have to present this issue so that we can connect the belief and my role as a family planning agent or a sexual reproductive health agent."

Mrs Tabua said the most common issue that women from the 58 active women's group in Taveuni raised all the time they visited the only resource centre for the island were teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

"In Taveuni we work with women and the youths, so we would like to address this issue with them.

"What I can see in Taveuni is that there are more cases of teenage pregnancies and other cases too like for unsafe sex and what it brings," Mrs Tabua said.

"It's a very challenging thing to give condoms out, so the big challenge is how to face the public."

She said the sexual reproductive health workshop organised by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation had really helped family planning agents in rural areas and villages in dealing with the public.

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