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Women's reproductive health and contraception

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Our motivation

For our value creators, we chose to dive into the topic of gender inequality in health. As a team of four, we had different motivations as to why we wanted to engage with this topic. Some of us were interested in the acceptance of the contraceptive pill, others had more an interest in women's inclusion in research on gender in health or gender equality in health care. During our brainstorming sessions, we combined our ideas and noticed that we were all interested in the topic of contraception. Reason being we all had different experiences and reasons as to why we used contraception. Some of us had been on it since our early teen years, while others never used any. We all had been on either the contraceptive pill, UID, or implant. As we brainstormed, we realized that we did not know much about the different contraceptive methods. For instance, some women experience severe side effects. Moreover, as we asked around, we realized that we were not the only ones that did not have enough knowledge. This gave us the idea to research women's accessibility and acceptability to the different contraceptive methods.

Our journey

Our value creators' journey started with talking to a journalist from Italy, who dealt with women´s reproductive rights, especially abortion. Besides that, we got in contact with the Male Contraceptive Initiative from the US who gave us an insight into the contraceptive pill for men. He further referred us to two ethicists that researched reproductive health. We then had an interesting conversation with a psychologist and author about the effects of the contraceptive pill on the brain. Furthermore, we established contact to the organizations The Case for her and Cycle and talked to the head of policy and research of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. We then attended a lecture from Dr. Kathryn Sutcliffe from the Liverpool Women´s Hospital, which gave us a good overview of all the different contraception types.

While talking to our network, we received a lot of input and information about the reproductive health of women. However, we realised that talking about the topic was often connected to a lot of stigma and taboo. That is why we wanted to make people more aware about the problem, educate them, destigmatize the topic as well as make people feel more confident talking about the topic. As a result, we came up with the innovative idea to use comedy to achieve this goal. Hence, at the end of the semester we organised a comedic, theatre and role-play night about women´s reproductive health and contraception at Windesheim.

Our event

The event started off with welcoming the participants with a set of questions about the topic of contraception. They had to make a mark on a poster where they felt they fit best from a scale of strongly disagree to strongly agree. Then we moved on to a comedic informational opening where we shared vital information about contraception with the participants in a fun way. The different types of contraception and their side effects were presented. This was done in order to raise awareness about contraception and provide them with fundamental knowledge.

To destigmatize the topic, we performed three comedic scenarios with the help of actors in which the participants could recognize how the topic of contraception is a taboo amongst doctors, family, and friends. We then had a short break where the participants got the opportunity to look and touch the different types of contraception, at the contraception station. We had a contraception suitcase and different condoms showcased in the room, together with beautiful art from Denise Kastner about body positivity. After the break we gave the participants the opportunity to practice their comfort and confidence in role-plays by giving them possible real-life scenarios. It was very nice to see how more comfortable they were and felt because they were in a fun and safe space. This session also turned into a session where participants started asking questions and facilitated meaningful conversations. We ended the night with a jubilee where we asked the participants the same question that we asked them in the beginning, to visualize the direct impact. Lastly, we closed the event with an affirmation chant to evoke an uplifting feeling.

If you are interested in receiving further information, you can reach out to:

Lisa Gollin

Chantal Elly Christensson

Grace Vianna Bitengo

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