Saturday, February 17, 2018

Girls, women campaign for access to sanitary wear

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SCORES of girls and young women yesterday gathered at Town House in Harare for a march dubbed “Happy Flow Campaign” aimed at advocating for health and wellness particularly access to sanitary wear.
BY KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA
The campaign was focused on the challenges that girls and young women face during their menstruation.
Katswe Sistahood, in collaboration with the Sadc Parliamentary Forum (Sadc PF), joined forces to make the government look into menstrual health matters.
Chairperson for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs and Youth, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the health needs of girls should be prioritised by government.
“Many young girls miss school during their menstrual period, which makes them eventually become dropouts and at the same time these young girls are subjected to sexual harassment and abuse as a result of lack of access to sanitary wear,” the MDC legislator said.
Katswe Sistahood director, Talent Jumo said the government should make it a point that girls get sanitary wear at schools.
“The prices of sanitary wear should be reduced. So many girls have been using cow dung, newspapers, rags and crushed maize cobs and this is not healthy, as it exposes the girls and young women to greater infections,” she said
The campaign was grounded on a seven point plan, which included standardised, affordable prices for sanitary wear, pushing for a mandatory sustainable sanitary wear budget in every government institution and public spaces, free sanitary wear in schools and also pushing giant organisations like United Nations to prioritise girls and young women’s health and wellness.
There were also calls for all communities, families, religious institutions and schools to invest in raising awareness on menstruation so that they demystify and destigmatise it.