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Botswana ensures the dignity of women by offering free sanitary products

There has always been an outcry that disadvantaged children and women resort to unhealthy methods during menstruation but this will no longer be the case for Batswana women and girls after a commendable move by parliament to provide free sanitary products.

The Batswana Parliament has passed a motion by The Botswana National Front (BNF) to offer free sanitary pads in all public and private schools.

The BNF under their “Ensuring the Dignity of Women” program has in recent years been relentlessly advocating for the government to provide free sanitary pads in public schools, to disadvantaged women and girls outside school and to the most vulnerable group i.e. girls from rural areas.

Mohwasa said that the BNF’s wish is to see sanitary pads being freely distributed in public facilities like condoms. “If women and girls continue to use unsanitary methods during their menstruation cycle they are likely to contact infections or illnesses that may be costly to treat on the part of the government,” he said according to Mmegi.

Products sponsored by File picture. Proctor and Gamble (P&G) at the Launch of Sanitary Pads Project led by Proudly South African in Partnership with Sun International and Proctor and Gamble (P&G). 18/09/2014. (Photo: GCIS)/Flickr

The motion was therefore tabled to provide every disadvantaged girl with this basic need that otherwise hampers their education and quality of life. “It is a good motion. We support it because it is consistent with what we have been calling for as the BNF,” said secretary general of the BNF, Moeti Mohwasa.

Read: Period Poverty: Can African countries supply free sanitary products?

Member of Parliament Polson Majaga; after the motion was overwhelmingly approved; said, “Government provision of sanitary pads to all schools would improve access to education in a country where many could not afford sanitary products like pads.”

A different member of parliament, Ngaka Ngaka, directly attributed poor academic performance in his constituency to absenteeism during menstruation and called on businesses to support the government in the provision of the pads.

The country’s deputy local government minister Botlogile Tshireletso has said a program is already in place to provide sanitary pads and toiletries to all needy students registered with them.

Read: Kenyan government to provide sanitary pads for girls in public schools

Furthermore the deputy basic education minister, Moisiraela Goya upholds, “the move would also install some dignity to the girl child as they would always be in a position to use medically approved sanitary pads.”

There has been an onslaught of support via social media.

https://twitter.com/sure_kamhunga/status/892784905205284864

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