3D Campaign on Sanitary Wear – Deliver. Delayed. Dignity

Date: October 23, 2012
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The 3D (Deliver.Delayed.Dignity) campaign on sanitary wear is an example of implementation of Article 26 of the SADC Gender Protocol which calls on member states to ensure “the provision of hygiene and sanitary facilities and nutritional needs of women including women in prison”.

For young girls the provision of sanitary wear is a basic hygiene requirement. But not all families can afford this. This is particularly so in a country like Zimbabwe which has witnessed its worst economic situation in recent years. A group of 500 young women engaged the deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Thokozani Khupe, members of parliament and stakeholders in a policy dialogue and an advocacy march held in Bulawayo on the 18th of May 2012 as part of the 3D campaign on sanitary wear which is running under the regional Young Women First initiative.

Key challenges highlighted

  • Students in tertiary institutions are resorting to using birth control pills continually, in order to avoid having their period during the semester as they cannot afford sanitary wear.
  • Over 80% of the schools do not have the necessary medication to assist students suffering from dysmenorrhea (heavy bleeding).
  • The high cost of sanitary wear makes it unaffordable for many women, especially young women.
  • Young women and girls are missing school when they are menstruating.

A call was made for

  • Budgetary allocations at family, college/school and national level.
  • Free distribution of sanitary wear in schools and rural areas.
  • The removal of the 15% VAT so as to reduce the market price of sanitary wear to ensure its availability and accessibility.
  • Availability of youth friendly services and commodities that are able to address pre-and post-menstrual tension and discomforts.
  • Government supervision on the quality control on sanitary wear.
  • Medical aid schemes to provide sanitary wear as part of health commodities for students in colleges.

The deputy Prime Minister committed to:

  • Presenting the sanitary wear challenges faced by women to the Council of Ministers and the Cabinet.
  • Advocating for the removal of tax charged on all sanitary wear.

School heads committed to:

  • Budget for sanitary wear for students.
  • Ensuring effective education on safe sanitary wear and management of dysmenorrhea.

Adapted from: http://www.safaids.net



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