DKT International, one of the largest providers of family planning products and services in the developing world, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of women around the world by empowering them with the ability to decide whether or when to become parents. In alliance with International Women’s Day (IWD), on March 8, DKT seeks to celebrate women and raise awareness about inequities they may face, including wide-scale protection of sexual & reproductive health rights. This IWD, DKT International will be conducting both in person and digital activations around the world with a focus on inspiring and educating women on sexual and reproductive health products.
Chris Purdy, CEO of DKT International, says, “DKT celebrates International Women’s Day by providing the necessary education and products to help women plan their families and future, especially in these hard times. Throughout the year, DKT actively collaborates with key stakeholders related to gender, human security, and human rights to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of safe abortion and contraceptive products.”
DKT is spotlighting the International Women’s Day efforts in four countries:
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), DKT is conducting a digital and social media campaign that not only celebrates IWD, but designates the entire month of March to observe “Women’s Month.” DKT DRC will have educational quiz games on its social media as well as vouchers to receive a contraceptive for free in one of its partner clinics. In addition, the organization hopes to inspire Congolese women by showcasing the incredible work of DKT’s female staff members whose efforts and voices have directly empowered other women in the country. Under the social media tags: #DKTFemmesActives #MoisdelaFemme #LeadershipFéminin, portraits of female staff members will highlight their work, passion, consistency, and dedication – such as Clarisse Tete and Mamie Kasay. Clarisse Tete is an accounting assistant, who as one of the first staff members of the organization, helped to start the DKT DRC office. Mamie Kasay is the Head of Training and has worked with DKT DRC since 2012 to build health providers’ capacity to provide quality contraceptive services and information to women and girls.
In Ghana, DKT is hosting a door-to-door counseling and sampling activation with the Lydia Daphne, a daily oral contraception that also treats androgen dependent acne, for female students at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Midwives from local clinics and DKT staff will provide students with samples of Lydia Daphne, facemasks, and hand sanitizer to encourage young women to take control of their health, both reproductive and otherwise. In addition, around campus, team members will hold placards with empowering messages as well as host a social media photo contest using the IWD’s theme, #choosetochallenge, to reward five female followers.
In the Philippines, DKT is spotlighting the efforts of the Business Development field representatives, also known as the “Trailblazer Team,” which is composed of six women: Abegail Marquez, Fe Laygo, Asiah Zingapan, Marie Christine Quillo, Aicy Mae Salas and Margie Aquino. As Business Development representatives they are responsible for ensuring remote, underserved provincial areas have access to DKT products as well as building relationships with doctors’ and midwives’ clinics and drugstores. Often these women traverse rugged or muddy unpaved roads and steep mountains alone in four-wheel-drive vehicles to access locations where unmet need for family planning is highest. DKT Philippines is recognizing these challenges together, along with the Trailblazer Team’s other responsibilities as mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, in the hopes of motivating people to join their mission to ensure more families have access to quality family planning choices.
In Liberia, DKT is connecting with local partners to reach women in rural and vulnerable areas, such as the West Point Women for Health and Development Organization in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, and Rural Women Rights Structure in Bong, a remote rural population whose livelihood has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Both organizations focus on empowering women in these developing regions by enabling them to participate fully in their decision-making processes at all levels via education on their rights and promoting business solutions that aid in financial self-sufficiency. Throughout 2020, DKT Liberia trained fifty volunteers to promote sexual and reproductive health education as well as providing access to contraception and safe abortion products. On IWD, DKT will continue its support by supplying subsidized products to these communities. Additionally, DKT Liberia is honoring their female staff members, recognizing the value of having a diverse and inclusive workforce as a vital step toward gender equality. At DKT Liberia, five out of seven sales team executives are women. Playing pivotal roles, Saran Kromah and Felecia Kargbo are the 2020 sales champions for condoms and IUDs, respectively, while Florence Laway, Vera Bestman, and Queenie Walloh have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure family planning products are in stock in 150 pharmacies and 300 medicine stores despite quarantine measures.
“Throughout the pandemic, despite supply chain challenges and immense pressure on healthcare providers, DKT has continued to empower and protect women by providing safe and affordable options for family planning. Recently reported data displays the breadth and depth of DKT’s impact: preventing over 11.3 million unwanted pregnancies, 49,000 maternal deaths and 12.8 million unsafe abortions in 2020,” adds Purdy. “This work couldn’t have been done without the essential assistance of the thousands of DKT employees and partners around the world. These individuals, including the aforementioned incredible women, strive each day to improve the health and well-being of women, and it is our honor to highlight and celebrate them on International Women’s Day.”