Unemployed women should be trained to produce and supply government-issued sanitary pads - ANCWL

2018-03-04 10:55

Cape Town - Capacity building programmes for unemployed women on how to produce sanitary pads and run a business to supply government-issued sanitary pads should be offered to primary and high school pupils, the ANC Women’s League has said.

"Government can later source the sanitary towels from women-owned businesses. There are many things like free stationary, free condoms, et al that government is providing but the biggest suppliers of those items remain male-owned businesses, in particular white. Radical socio-economic transformation must be in theory and in practice in all sectors," secretary general Meokgo Matuba said in a statement.

The ANCWL’s comments come after Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini last week reportedly told Parliament's Multiparty Women's Caucus that pupils will soon receive free pads, IOL reported.

Matuba said government had in the past committed to supply free sanitary towels to girl scholars, but there had been no full implementation in some provinces.

"The ANCWL calls for the ANC-led government to put timelines to implement this decision which will bring much needed relief to many girl learners who are from poor and working class families.

"Various reports have indicated that the majority of the girl learners who cannot afford sanitary towels resort to unhygienic methods of using clothes rags and newspapers during their menstruation and that poses health risks to them," she said.

"Whilst notwithstanding the strides made by the ANC led government by providing free condoms, it is our firm view that sanitary towels must also be freely available particularly for girl learners from poor and working class families. Unlike sex, menstruation is not a choice but natural occurrence."

Matuba said the women’s league would mobilise its members, supporters and society in general to embark on a campaign for Treasury to add sanitary towels into the list of items zero-rated on value-added tax (VAT).

"VAT on sanitary towels contributes towards deliberate impoverishment of women. Menstruation is not a choice but a natural occurrence."

Read more on:    anc women's league  |  women  |  menstruation

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