Conservative views on sex among other things impede the use of femidom in the country despite international acceptance.\u00a0 Milliam Murigi @millymur1 Female condoms or femidom were hailed as the biggest contraceptive revolution since the invention of the pill. Regarded as the only woman-initiated method available to offer protection from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, it was seen by many gender rights experts as a tool to empower women. However, getting more women to use female condoms remains a challenge in countries such as Kenya where public talk about sex is still largely a taboo and men take decisions over sex and family planning. This is despite the fact that the female condom is growing in use internationally. Stanley Ngara aka Kenya\u2019s Condom King, who distributes condoms for free, says conservative views about sex, high cost, unavailability, stigmatisation, myths and poor awareness are hindering the use of the female condom. \u201cIntroduction of female condoms was very confusing. Then, the community was advised to put on the condoms eight hours before intercourse. This brought about a lot of myths and misconceptions. However, things have changed,\u201d says Ngara. Because of such, sex workers mostly targeted by the government programme of distributing these female condoms took advantage of putting on one and using it with multiple partners. Of course, in the end, results were not that good, making most of them shy away from using it. Stanley Ngara: When it comes to advertising, most companies focus on male condoms, leaving behind the female condoms.\u00a0 According to Ngara, for the past few years, most female condoms were sold to the government, which is promoting their use in HIV\/Aids schemes amongst sex workers. However, femidom demand is now high, especially among many empowered women who don\u2019t want condom negotiations or disturbances from bothering partners. Long overshadowed \u201cFor women who use it for the first time and use it correctly, it\u2019s wonderful and they always want more. I receive calls from specific women who have now taken it as the way to go,\u201d he explains. Though there are a lot of people trained on female condom programme, majority wait for the client to come for the services unlike going out to the community with the products to create awareness. Additionally, there are few female condom dispensers, most of which are always empty. When it comes to advertising, most companies focus on male condoms, leaving behind the female condoms. Because of this, very few people know they exists. \u201cEven in procurement, femidom has for long been overshadowed. Currently, the\u00a0government is procuring 240 million male condoms and 10 million female condoms. This is just a drop in the ocean,\u201d Ngara says. \u00a0 And to ensure that the gospel is spread far and wide, institutions such as Kenyatta University, with the support of Pathfinder, have come up with a programme where peer educators are trained to promote female condoms. So far the institution has two queens who are fully creating awareness about femidom and their benefit as well as debunking myths and misconceptions.\u00a0 \u00a0\u201cThere has been a decline in the use of femidom and an increase in male condoms. Women in the streets do not want to use femidom because they are either shy or are not interested. This is why female condoms are mostly used by sex workers. Though some clients prefer to add money and have sex without a condom, empowered sex workers are able to trick them,\u201d he explains. More value He says most women fear using the product because it is believed that you have to insert it hours before intercourse something he disagrees with as one needs about 10 to 15 minutes only after insertion to allow it to get warm and stick to the walls. Other myths include: female condoms are noisy, they are big, they are uncomfortable, men will not accept and women who use the product may not have control of sex. \u201cWe need to put record clear. These are just myths and not true. Actually men enjoy it most when one is using femidom because it is easy for them since they are well lubricated. Apart from that, the product adds more value to women by covering a large area that is outside and inside,\u201d Ngara argues. According to him, the best thing about the product is that it is not made of latex and thus safe for those allergic to latex. Unlike the male condom, the femidom can be used even while urinating. It also does not affect hormonal levels.