Thursday, February 14, 2019
Valentine’s Day is a bit of a Hallmark card holiday – you can easily skip it, and in fact many do! If you’re more about celebrating Galentine’s Day we’re with you - we’re big fans at Family Planning. Here’s our list of how you can love yourself on 14 February, and show your sisters some love too.
- Smear your mea
'Smear Your Mea' is a community funded and wāhine (female) driven New Zealand health campaign to encourage women to get their smear test and prevent the on-set of cervical cancer. 'Smear Your Mea' was launched by Talei Morrison in 2017. Last year, Talei’s courageous battle with cervical cancer ended with her passing in June 2018. But her fight for wāhine continues.
In New Zealand, 160 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and around 50 die from it. The agony of losing a loved one to cervical cancer is something we don’t want anyone to go through.
Cervical screening is available at all Family Planning clinics and it’s free – you’ll only have to pay for an appointment (if you’re over 22), not the screening itself.
If you’re between 20 and 70 and you have a cervix, you need to have a screen every three years.
Having a screen reduces your risk of developing cervical cancer. It is one of the most preventable of all cancers so grab your best friends if they have a cervix – and bring them to a clinic. You might save their life.
- Take action against gendered violence
February 14 is being marked as a global day of action to end violence against women. Domestic violence is a major human rights issue across the world, and one of New Zealand’s most serious social issues. According to Women’s Refuge New Zealand, one in three women in Aotearoa will experience some form of abuse within their relationship.
New Zealand isn’t the only country marking Valentine’s Day as a day of action. One Billion Rising has a global campaign exposing the truth that one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. The campaign calls for an end to violence against women and for gender equality. The goal is to have one billion women and those that love them walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to violence against women and girls.
In whatever way you feel able to – you can be part of this campaign. No matter your gender, talk about gendered violence, know the statistics and call out the culture that excuses it by minimising the issues faced. Consider donating to one of New Zealand’s many organisations dedicated to ending violence against women or volunteer with one of these amazing charities.
- Sort out your contraception
What better act of self-care is there than to get the right contraceptive to work for you, your body and your needs?
There are so many different kinds of contraception available now, including Long-Acting Reversible Contraception options that last years and are highly, highly effective.
If you’re having problems with heavy periods or irregular periods, you can talk to us and we can help you! Many contraceptives can stop your period which helps with conditions like endometriosis.
- Support abortion law reform
Family Planning supports the Government’s intention to treat abortion as a health issue. A modern legal framework for abortion should recognise women’s autonomy in reproductive decision-making, allow services to be focused on the health needs of women, and enable provision to be aligned with medical best practice standards.
We don’t believe there’s any need for statutory requirements that restrict or delay access to abortion services or undermine women’s ability to make decisions about reproduction.
If you agree that the person carrying the baby is best placed to decide if she should continue a pregnancy – make that known to your local MP. Read up on abortion law reform (https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/advice/abortion-law-reform/abortion-law-reform-backgrounder and help us to ensure the legislation is changed to protect and support women. If you trust women, you’ll support abortion law reform. It’s time!
- Do your bit to end period poverty
Almost a quarter of New Zealand women who responded to a KidsCan survey in November last year have missed school or work because they have been unable to afford sanitary items. 53.1% said they had found it difficult to access sanitary items due to cost at some point (8.6% frequently, 44.5% occasionally.) 23.6% said they had missed school or work due to a lack of access to sanitary wear.
One in three respondents said they had had to prioritise buying other items, like food, over sanitary items. When they couldn’t afford them, most (53.8%) resorted to toilet paper, but 7.7% had used rags, 3% old cloths and many mentioned using disposable or cloth nappies.
Period poverty is real. Thankfully, there are many organisations working to end this struggle. SPINZs (Sanitary Products in New Zealand Schools), Go With The Flow, and Dignity are all great organisations where you can donate or do a “buy one and give one” deal. There are also menstrual cup donation options like, MyCup, Lumii, and Oi.
Diamonds might be forever, and sure flowers are nice – but giving back is where it’s at. Supporting your sisters (not just your cis-ters) and sharing the love is the perfect way to celebrate on Valentine’s Day.
Save a life, change a life, celebrate life – At Family Planning we can help you with it all.
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.