Condoms will no longer be subject to government tax in Madagascar, President Andry Nirina Rajoelina announced at an event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Antananarivo.

"We will spare no effort to make the dream, the vision of the ICPD in Cairo, a reality for the development and emergence of Madagascar," Mr. Rajoelina said.

The move promises better access to contraceptives and is the first step towards tax-free advocacy for contraceptives.

Madagascar has made significant progress on family planning in recent years. The contraceptive prevalence rate (women aged 15 to 49 years who are using a modern contraceptive method) has increased from 33 per cent in 2012 to 41 per cent in 2019, according to UNFPA's 2019 State of World Population report.

But the country still faces many challenges in its journey towards fulfilling the ICPD Programme of Action. For instance, one in three women has experienced some type of violence in her lifetime, and almost 45 per cent of women consider domestic violence normal.

First Lady Mialy Rajoelina, a champion against gender-based violence, said at the event that she will devote all her energy "to breaking the silence, to breaking those chains that lead to the break-up of this prison that isolates - violence." 

"I will give the floor to those who have the courage to say a word, to denounce this reality and I will speak for those who are tired, who can no longer find the words because the pain is so persistent."

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