A new drama series about the lives and relationships of women working in a garment factory has proved a hit during the first few months it has been shown to workers. Developed by CARE under Partnering to Save Lives (PSL), the drama series aims to change young people’s attitudes so they can make informed choices about reproductive health, using contraception and accessing formal health services.
The three-part drama focuses on the lives of Pheavy, Daneth and Sopheak, all young women employed in a Phnom Penh factory. Pheavy’s boyfriend has asked her a big question; Daneth is planning for her future; and both are worried about Sopheak, who has a secret which is upsetting her.
The video aims to be more than a simple informational broadcast telling people what they should and shouldn’t do. It shows positive role models, such as women who are not afraid to ask for information to make healthy decisions and men who respect the views of their partners.
Since September, CARE has been screening the videos in selected garment factories. In some locations these are shown to large groups in public screenings, such as in canteens during lunchtime; in others workers watch in small groups with a trainer then facilitating a guided discussion to allow people to reflect on what they have seen and have any queries clarified. Workers have been responding to this well. “I like the video where Daneth and Pheavy discuss contraception with Auntie Chea,” says a participant of one such session
The videos form just one part of CARE’s behaviour change communication page, which also includes short training sessions with interactive activities and a mobile phone app. These were developed with the aim of ensuring women have accurate information about contraception rather than relying on rumours or misinformation. For example, PSL’s research on the reproductive health situation of garment workers reported that only eight per cent of respondents knew that abortion is legal in Cambodia. This can often lead women to go to unofficial clinics which can be unsafe and where quality care cannot be guaranteed. The research also found that 18 per cent of ever-partnered female garment workers who were interviewed reported having had an abortion, compared to the national average of five per cent. CARE hopes that by supporting women to make informed choices through a range of fun, interactive activities, these numbers will change.
The drama videos are now being shown to more than eight factories across the capital with new factories joining all the time.
Read what workers have been saying about the videos >
These activities are conducted by CARE as part of Partnering to Save Lives, which is funded by the Australian Government.