15 Aug 2019

Sexual health services vital for rural Vanuatu women - report

7:24 pm on 15 August 2019

Improved sex education and better access to health services are key to reproductive health for Vanuatu's rural communities according to a new report.

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Photo: RNZ / Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor

The report by Family Planning New Zealand called Planem Gud Famili Blong Yumi was released this week in Vanuatu and New Zealand.

Researchers interviewed villagers in the Big Bay Bush area of Espiritu Santo about their sexual health needs.

New Zealand Family Planning researcher Kate Burry says many women spoke of a lack of personal choice, deferring decisions about sex to their partner or wider family.

"However sometimes it was more coercive, more kind of leading in to intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Which was a massive, very significant finding as well, and a significant barrier," Kate Burry said.

Work to implement the report's recommendations is supported by the governments of New Zealand and Vanuatu.