By Abigail Mzimbawakhe (Midlands Correspondent)
A women’s rights advocacy organisation has urged the private and public institutions in the country to provide affordable sanitary wear for the girl child since the prices have gone up.
The Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) General Secretary Muchanyara Mukamuri said that access to sanitary wear remains a challenge to a lot of women in the country and encouraged stakeholders to freely avail them in places like toilets.
“The public and private institutions in the country should be deliberate about availing sanitary wear in places like toilets in the same manner that is done to condoms as women do not choose to menstruate.
“A man has never been menstruating and will never do that. It is always a women’s baby so make sanitary pads affordable. Heavily subsidise them and place the sanitary pads in the toilets the same way you do with condoms.
“I don’t know whether you are aware that some of our girls spend about four to five days without going to school because sanitary pads are beyond their reach,” she said.
The Association’s Spokesperson Lisa Tambula said some girls are driven into relationships with old men due to such pressures.
“Even at 21 years of age, there are girls that do not afford sanitary pads. At universities and at high schools, some girls come from families that do not afford even to pay their fees so they are driven by poverty to look for sanitary pads. In many instances, girls in such circumstances even fall in love with married men,” she said.