Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe has called on the government to provide free menstrual products for female learners as schools reopen for examinations learners end of this month.
In a statement released today, Sanitary Aid Trust said the Covid-19 pandemic had worsened already existing gender inequalities for girls.
“Girls are returning to school at a difficult time and they should be supported to overcome their menstrual challenges,” read the statement.
The organization further said menstruation generally had a huge impact on girls access to education and performance in schools calling for action to foster ‘menstrual liberty’.
“Action to foster menstrual liberty is needed now more than ever before and government intervention will also be crucial as step towards safeguarding girls dignity, integrity and overall life opportunities.”
President Emerson Mnangagwa recently signed the Education Amendment Act into law which commits the state to ensure the provision of sanitary wear and other menstrual health facilities to girls in all schools to promote menstrual health. [Section 4(1a)].
Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust urged government to demonstrate its political will by putting a robust and expeditious implementation programme to ensure that all school girls across the country receive adequate menstrual products as they return to school.
“We are concerned that the 200 million sanitary wear budget that was initially set aside for female learners in rural areas in the 2020 National budget announced on the 14 November 2019 has not been allocated yet. The money has been eroded by inflation and is also not adequate to cater for all girls in line with new provisions of the law.
“We therefore call on government to replenish this fund to ensure that it is sufficient to cater for all female learners who need menstrual products and to swiftly start distributing the free products to all intended beneficiaries in a efficient transparent and accountable manner,” further noted the organisation.