‘Time to demystify menstruation’

WOMEN rights lobby group, Talia Women’s Network, has challenged men to get involved in the campaign to promote menstrual hygiene for girls to demystify the myth associated with the biological cycle.

By Tinotenda Munyukwi

The group’s director, Saliwe Zakariya, made the call in Banket last week during the handover of reusable sanitary pads by Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe to 80 disadvantaged girls.

“Menstrual issues are not just female issues, because we haven’t been talking about it a lot, but we do not even know the full extent to which girls are disadvantaged because of the issue of menstrual health and hygiene,” Zakariya said.
“We are saying we need to start to have these conversations frequently at all levels, so that we take ownership of the problem and so that we collectively find solutions of the problem.”

There has been raging debate in Parliament, with female legislators pushing for duty-free imports of sanitary wear and introduction of subsidies in the production of the pads to make them affordable, particularly to underprivileged girls.

In households, cultural practices continue to label menstrual health discussions as taboo, with only mothers allowed to discuss such with their daughters away from all male members of the family.

Zakariya said such societal practices were hampering clarity on menstrual challenges

Speaking at the same event, Stanbic Bank’s human capital head, Nyasha Mutsai, said it was important for society to pay attention to the menstrual health challenges of women, especially girls, so that they could fully realise their potential at par with their male counterparts.

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