‘Monthly’ costs for some women, a burden

2016-05-26 06:00

IT’S expensive being a woman. And I don’t mean salon visits, manicures, pedicures and botox injections. I’m talking about the menstrual cycle and the cost of the items women need in order to get through this monthly experience.

While many of us can afford tampons and sanitary towels, there are those who can’t.

For instance, in Afrikaans schools, girls miss out on up to 55 days of school per year because they can’t afford these toiletries.

Solidaiteit Helpende Hande launched a project called Help Hanna last year to assist school going girls with sanitary items and toiletries.

According to a study done by Solidarity Helping Hand, menstruation is a burden for more than 10% of girls every month due to a shortage of sanitary products.

More than 10% of the girls in less affluent schools do not have enough sanitary products to see them through the month.

A further seven percent indicated that they miss school because they do not have sufficient products.

Locally, Hoërskool Suid-Natal and Suid-Natal Primêre Skool benefit from the project by receiving toiletries only. The schools secured their own donors for sanitary items.

“Each parcel is worth about R50 and contains sanitary pads and two other products, which includes body wash, toothpaste or antiperspirant, which is carefully packed for them,” said Mariëtte van Heerden, KZN Regional co-ordinator.

“Helping Hand created a character, Hanna, to represent every girl who experiences this problem. She is a typical school girl, but she has financial difficulties and therefore cannot afford to buy sanitary products,” she added.

SMS the word “helphanna” to 36989 and donate R10 to keep girls in school. Schools interested in receiving parcels may contact the project organiser, Michelle Burger, on 012 644 4390, or e-mail michelle@ helpendehand.co.za

Pads cost between R34.95 to R53.95 per month for 16.

Most women require two packs every month. Tampons cost between R45 to R54 per month for 24 which also won’t get most women through the month.

Clicks house brand has sanitary pads at R7.95 for eight.

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