Govt’s Appeal to Women to Stop AIDS Spread, Culture Impedes Efforts

As governments around the world attempt to address the growing AIDS epidemic, many misguided policies are being in put in place. For example, Swaziland recently ordered women to refrain from having sex for five years and wear long tassels at the back of the neck in order to proclaim their abstinence. Women are also no longer allowed to wear pants. Failure to comply with the sexual ban can incur a major financial penalty on the girl’s family. Notably, boys and men were not included in the government’s policy. Employees of the Swazi government’s HIV/AIDS program question the effectiveness of these new policies, noting that without further education, the bans will have little affect on the country’s behavior.


New York Times - September 29, 2001

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