Govt must legislate for free sanitary pads: MP

Gokwe-Chireya legislator Tonderayi Moyo

A ZANU PF legislator has urged government  to enact laws making it mandatory for sanitary pads to be provided free of charge for the benefit of girls from underprivileged families.

According to a latest report titled: Taxation and menstrual hygiene management tools in Zimbabwe released yesterday, 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 said sanitary pads must be provided free of charge.

“It is an obligation of government to provide sanitary pads to girls. It has to be legally binding that government supply menstrual hygiene management tools to both rural and urban areas for free,” Moyo said.

Moyo said the 2023 budget allocation for menstrual hygiene management was not enough.

Zimbabwe Gender Commission chief executive officer Virginia Muwanigwa-Sangarwe said access to menstrual hygiene management tools is a basic human right.

“We have noticed  a trend of countries including ours  removing taxes on various menstrual products  through various  exemptions  raging 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,” she said.

A recent survey revealed that most underprivileged girls in rural areas use old clothes, leaves and cow dung during their menstrual cycle.

Related Topics