Gokwe-Chireya MP Urges Govt To Provide Sanitary Pads Free Of Charge
A ZANU PF Member of Parliament has called on the government to ensure that sanitary pads are available free of charge for the benefit of girls from underprivileged families.
In the latest report titled: Taxation and menstrual hygiene management tools in Zimbabwe released on Friday, an estimated 62% of school girls miss lessons during their monthly menstrual cycle as they cannot afford sanitary pads.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting and launch of the report hosted by ActionAid Zimbabwe, Gokwe-Chireya legislator Tonderayi Moyo (ZANU PF) said sanitary pads must be available free of charge. He said:
It is an obligation of the government to provide sanitary pads to girls. It has to be legally binding that the government supply menstrual hygiene management tools to both rural and urban areas for free.
Zimbabwe Gender Commission chief executive officer Virginia Muwanigwa-Sangarwe said:
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We have noticed a trend of countries including ours removing taxes on various menstrual products through various exemptions ranging from Value Added Tax, imports and income taxes so as to reduce period poverty, but the same exemption has not been extended to local producers of menstrual tools making locally produced tools less competitive.
A recent survey revealed that most underprivileged girls in rural areas use old clothes, leaves and cow dung during their menstrual cycle. | NewsDay