Sibanda urges provision of free sanitary wear

Legislators have been urged to advocate for the allocation of a budget targeting the provision of free sanitary wear for marginalised women in Zimbabwe.

Bulawayo Central legislator Dorcas Sibanda
Bulawayo Central legislator Dorcas Sibanda

Bulawayo Central legislator Dorcas Sibanda said although the cost of sanitary wear for rural women and girls had been reduced, more needed to be done to improve accessibility for the poor.

“Taking stock of what we have managed to do since the issue of sanitary wear was discussed in Parliament, we have seen an improvement in the reduced costs, but we are not yet there. Everything starts with the budget,” she said.

A packet of 10 pads costs $1 down from the previous $1,20 while the price of 250 gr of cotton wool costs $1,50.

“If the Women’s Affairs Ministry is allocated money towards this cause, it can be achieved but if we are going to talk about providing sanitary wear without identifying how we can do that, we will continue talking about it without implementing anything,” added Sibanda.

She said the issue required the involvement of all stakeholders, and urged schools to come up with interventions that eased the burden of sanitary wear for adolescents.

Sibanda said in her constituency, she was working with over 15 schools that raised money and bought sanitary wear for their students. “The schools held fashion days and the money raised out of this initiative went towards the purchase of sanitary wear to be given to those who cannot afford it so that they can stay in school,” she said.

The MP encouraged schools to engage in such initiatives. The Gender Programs Officer from Students and Youths Working on Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Team, Vimbai Mlambo said there was need for increased support and participation of all stakeholders towards alleviating the challenges associated with failure to access cheaper sanitary wear for poor women and girls.

She said there was need to review and access whether the manufacturers were complying with the set standards on the costs of sanitary wear.

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