Notes to broadcasters
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Myths and misconceptions are information that is false. In Mali, myths and misconception are widespread, including those related to sexual consent and using contraceptives, mainly because Malian society is very traditional. But attitudes are gradually changing.
These radio spots cover the following topics:
1. When a woman says no, she means no!
2. Even in the home, consent is necessary
3. What the law says about sexual consent
4. Zero pregnancy in schools
5. Contraception for family well-being
6. Condoms offer protection from STIs and unwanted pregnancies
7. Effectiveness of injectable birth control
8. Consent is not a western invention
9. Spermicides are not harmful
10. Difference between using contraceptives and promiscuity
11. The benefits of the "Jadelle" implant
12. The IUD never sticks to the child
13. The emergency pill is not poison
14. Birth control pills are safe!
15. Contraceptives do not lead to menopause
16. You must always get consent!
The spots are 15-60 seconds long, and can be aired several times during programs throughout the year. They can also be aired at other times when listeners are listening.
When a woman says no, she means no!
Why do women have to put up with violence from men who are desperate to satisfy their libido, even after they’ve said no?
Pay attention! Without consent, sexual intercourse is rape.
In Mali, rape is defined as sexual penetration of any kind, through violence, coercion, or surprise. In Mali, it is punishable by five to 20 years in prison, with a fine ranging from 250,000 to 800,000 FCFA.
So, when a woman says no, she means no. Always make sure you have her consent before proceeding, even in married couples. A woman’s opinion counts.
Even in the home, consent is necessary
What’s wrong Oumou? Whyare you crying?
My friend, it’ s my husband, Moussa. (Crying)
But what has he done? Tell me!
I am living in hell under his roof. Moussa has frequent sex with me, even when I don’t give my consent. Last night, he forced me to sleep with him again. I’m so tired of this.
But doesn’t he know that he has to have your consent, even if you are his wife?
Consent? He doesn’t care. He thinks everything in the house belongs to him and he doesn’t need his wife’s consent to do anything.
Enough is enough! Let’s talk to my father. He’s a lawyer and he’ll know what to do to bring him to his senses.
It’s a big mistake to think that women have to please their husbands, even against their own will. Women have rights and their consent is required before any sexual act, even if they are married.
Let’s learn to respect women!
What the law says about sexual consent
Good morning, friends! I just got back from school, and they told us about sexual consent and what the law says about it.
Sexual consent means that two people who have reached the age of sexual majority, which is 18 in Mali, agree to engage in sex.
SADIO THE GRIN LEADER:
Oh, I see. But what does the law say if a man performs a sexual act without his wife’s or girlfriend’s consent?
If non-consensual sex involves sexual penetration of any kind, it is rape. The Penal Code provides for a sentence of five to 20 years’ in prison for rape. The perpetrator could be fined between 250,000 and 800,000 FCFA.
Hiiyee! All this? Thank you, Ousmane, for this information. From now on, we will be careful not to come into conflict with the law.
Men, you must always have your partner’s permission before you have sex with her, whether you are married or not.
No means no!
Zero pregnancy in schools
Early pregnancy is one of the main reasons girls do not finish school.
Because youth lack good information about contraceptives, teenage girls often have unwanted pregnancies that result in them leaving school early.
These pregnancies usually occur after unprotected sex. But by using contraception, girls could avoid unwanted pregnancies and pursue their education normally.
In order to complete girls can complete their education and achieve their dreams, youths need to use contraceptives.
This is the key to a safer future!
Contraception for family well-being
My brother! Yesterday, my wife told me that she wants to use a modern method of contraception because our baby is not yet six months old. What do you think?
Personally, I don’t trust western products. I have heard that they cause infertility in women.
Look who’s here! It’s Oussou, the village doctor. Oussou! Oussou!
Yes, Moussa, what can I do for you?
My wife told me that she wants to use a modern method of contraception because our baby is not yet six months old. But Kaou tells me that contraceptives cause infertility. Is this true?
Hey Moussa, Kaou, don’t believe this false rumour! This statement is false. Here in Mali, we use contraception to space out births in order to increase family well-being. One can have as many children as one wants at the right time, but there should be at least two years between births. This allows the child to benefit from the mother’s milk and allows the mother to fully recover after the birth so that she can take care of herself and the other members of the family!
Contraceptives are safe and effective! Together, let’s embrace family planning to build healthy families.
Condoms offer protection from STIs and unwanted pregnancies
Hey coach! I’ve heard that the fluid inside condoms makes men impotent. Is this true?
No, Madou, that’s not true! Using a condom never causes impotence. Condoms not only prevent unwanted pregnancies but above all protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The liquid they contains is just a lubricant to facilitate movement.
Thank you very much, coach. From now on, I will use a condom every time I have sex. I’m too young to be a father!
Every time you have sex, use a condom correctly to protect yourself and your partner.
Effectiveness of injectable birth control
There are still false rumours about using injectable, short-duration birth control devices. Some claim that it poisons the blood. Others believe that, rather than just preventing pregnancies for two to three months, it prevents pregnancy forever.
These rumours are not true! Family planning uses products to prevent unwanted pregnancies and space births. This also allows young people to enjoy their sexuality in a responsible manner.
Injectable birth control is one of the most effective contraceptive methods. It prevents pregnancies for two to three months. Using it has no negative impact on health and does not prevent a woman from becoming pregnant again after the short period it’s active.
Contraception is a safe way for individuals and couples to fulfill their desires!
Consent is not a western creation
We hear all the time that sexual consent is a Western ideology designed to turn a woman against her husband.
But in fact, consent protects women from all forms of violence, including sexual violence.
In the past, women were subjected to all kinds of treatment. They were considered as objects within their families and had no say. Their rights were violated and their opinions did not count.
That’s why sexual consent is so important!
Respecting women’s rights can make our society more harmonious. For this reason, there are laws which punish men who engage in sexual acts with women without their consent.
Let’s respect women! Consent first, sex later.
Spermicides are not harmful
Have you ever heard the rumour that spermicides react like acid, scratching and eroding a woman’s entire vagina?
This rumour is false!
In fact, spermicides are a type of short-term contraceptive that is placed in the vagina 15 minutes before intercourse. After this 15-minute period, during which the spermicide takes effect, it neutralizes the sperm, making them unable to reach the egg and fertilize it.
Spermicides are simple and convenient. They are one of the safest ways to space births and avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Together, let’s embrace family planning to build healthy families.
The difference between using contraceptives and promiscuity
Are you one of those people who believe that using contraceptives encourages promiscuity in our societies?
The truth is that contraception is mainly intended to space out births, avoid unwanted pregnancies and, in some cases, cure fertility problems.
Using contraceptives has nothing to do with promiscuity. On the contrary, using contraceptives enables people to enjoy their sexuality in a responsible manner and improve family well-being by spacing out births. It guarantees good health for both the mother and the child, who can benefit from breast milk over a longer period. And it provides financial stability for the whole family.
Together, let’s embrace contraception for the family’s well-being.
The benefits of the “Jadelle” method
Yadicko, you know I’m sitting for my exam this year! I don’t want to drop out of school like my elder sister because of an early pregnancy.
You’re right! But to avoid that, you’ll have to use a contraceptive method.
Precisely. But I heard that the long-lasting method called “Jadelle” disappears in the body when you implant it under the skin. And that it could cause huge health problems.
Um, honey, don’t believe everything you hear. Here is Ouelematou, the nurse. Ouelematou!
Yes, my darlings! What can I do for you?
We have learned that the “Jadelle” implant disappears in the woman’s body, and can cause big health problems.
That’s not true. Jadelle is a long-term family planning method. It lasts up to five years and can be removed at any time. It is placed in the upper arm, just under the skin. It’s very effective. It is visible and does not disappear. After it’s removal, a woman can get pregnant. But to make sure you’re using it correctly, go to a health centre and talk to a health professional.
Together, let’s fight myths and misconceptions about contraceptives.
The IUD never sticks to the child
My daughter-in-law, I learned that the IUD contraceptive sticks to the child in the womb during childbirth.
Iyee Nana! That is not true at all!
Yesterday, I was at the health centre for my appointment. The midwife said that the IUD is a long-term family planning method that lasts up to 12 years but can be removed at any time.
Not everyone can insert it. Specialists carefully place it in the uterus.
Also, not everyone can use it. You need a medical examination beforehand to see if it will work for you.
The IUD is very effective at preventing pregnancy. But after it’s removed, a woman can get pregnant.
Really? Thank you for the information.
Together, let’s embrace contraception for the good of the family.
The emergency pill is not poison
The rumour that the emergency pill contains poison that will harm the health of the mother and child is completely false.
In reality, the emergency pill is a way of preventing pregnancy after rape or unprotected sex. It contains no poison and is only effective when taken within 72 hours of the act.
However, the emergency pill should not be used regularly. It should only be used in emergencies. If taken regularly, the pill could cause serious health problems.
The emergency pill is a safe way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It saves thousands of young girls from early pregnancy and helps couples avoid closely-spaced births.
Together, let’s fight the myths and misconceptions about contraceptives.
Birth control pills are safe!
Hey Bintou! Don’t you know that even after using them, birth control pills prevent women from having children again? Besides, the pills you took earlier remain stuck in your belly and eventually cause death.
(LAUGHING) Hey cousin! Always talking nonsense. This is totally false. Birth control pills are like any other medicine. After you take them, they break down in your body and prevent you from getting pregnant.
But to be effective, birth control pills must be taken at the same time every day. When the pack is finished, you must continue with another one. They have no health consequences and do not prevent a woman from becoming pregnant again after using them. They are used just to space births and to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Really? Why are people spreading these rumours then? I’m going to buy some tomorrow (LAUGHS)!
Buy some for yourself? No! Go to the health centre instead! There you will get all the information you need about the different methods of contraception, so you can make an informed choice.
Not all the rumours about contraceptives are true. Look for accurate information and switch to a planning method of your choice!
Contraceptives do not lead to menopause
Wow! Finally! I hope that my weekly chat with the youth in my neighbourhood about contraceptives, dispelled many myths and misconceptions!
Hello Aicha, how are you?
Oh, my dear, I’m doing well! We were together earlier for the educational chat, weren’t we?
Yes, you know that talking about these subjects is always a taboo! So I was ashamed to ask my question in public.
Hey, honey! We have to overcome all this silence about contraception. You did the right thing coming here. Ask me your question.
I’ve heard that contraceptives cause menopause in girls. Is this true?
This is not true at all. Family planning methods do not cause menopause in women. On the contrary, using them can even cure infertility in young couples and allows them to have the desired number of children at the desired time.
Thank you very much for setting me straight with good information.
Know this! Contraceptive methods allow young people to enjoy their sexuality without worrying about unwanted pregnancies and also to space out births.
Together, let’s fight myths and misconceptions about contraceptives.
You must always seek consent!
Many wives give in to their husbands’ sexual desire against their will. They fear intimidation or threats of polygamy or divorce.
But know this! Sexual intercourse without consent is rape, even within a couple.
In Mali, the law defines rape as sexual penetration of any kind, committed by violence, coercion, or surprise. It is punishable by five to 20 years’ in prison and a fine ranging from 250,000 to 800,000 FCFA.
Rumours that religion and our customs allow men to have sex with their wives whenever they want without their wives’ consent are false.
Husbands! Always make sure you have your wife’s consent. When a woman says no, it means no. Unless a woman says yes, you do NOT have her consent.
Contributed by: Dioro Cissé, journalist in Mali
Reviewed by: Idrissa Goro, Lawyer in Segou, Mali and Hadidjatou Diarra, Communication/Advocacy Advisor, ASDAP/PACASRDF in Segou
This resource was produced through the “HÉRÈ – Women’s Well-Being in Mali” initiative, which aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health well-being of women and girls and to strengthen the prevention of and response to gender-based violence in Sikasso, Ségou, Mopti, and the district of Bamako in Mali. The project is implemented by the HÉRÈ – MSI Mali Consortium, in partnership with Farm Radio International (RRI) and Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) with funding from Global Affairs Canada.