Free sanitary wear programme yet to be implemented

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RURAL girls are yet to get free sanitary wear promised by the Finance minister Mthuli Ncube in his 2020 National Budget presentation last year, the Daily News can report.

Ncube proposed to set aside $200 million for sanitary pads that is set to benefit rural primary school learners from Grade 4 to Upper Sixth to assist the majority of vulnerable girls who have resorted to using unhygienic materials that expose them to health-related problems as sanitary pads are now expensive.

However, Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust director and founder Theressa Nyava has complained that the government is delaying the process as learners are now entering the third month of the year without receiving the promised sanitary products.

“We have already passed the first half of the school term with the sanitary wear budget for rural girls not yet disbursed.

“We call upon Treasury and Mthuli Ncube to act with urgency as many girls are missing school and being period-shamed due to lack of sanitary wear,” Nyava said.

Contacted for comment on why the programme has not yet been implemented, Ncube was not immediately available.

Nyava added that Zimbabwe should be inspired by what is happening in Scotland where parliamentarians have approved free sanitary wear.

“If we really value the future of girls and women, we should take decisive action on period poverty and end it once for all, as the Scottish Parliament is doing. Our legislators should table a similar bill, as their constituencies want period poverty to go,” she said.

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