Rwanda has followed in the footsteps of South Africa scrapping the 18% Value Added Tax on sanitary pads. African countries are taking the step in order to combat period poverty especially for young girls and vulnerable women.
The menstrual cup is currently the safest, most effective, affordable and eco-friendly method of managing menstruation. Menstrual cups can last up to a decade because they are made of medical-grade silicone or latex, why then isn’t it the go to product for all women and more so those in vulnerable situations?
An ongoing debate to stop the imposition of Value-Added Tax (VAT) on sanitary products; as this classifies them as luxury and/or non-essential goods; has ended in a victory for women. The South African government has resolved to abolish the payment of 15% Value-Added Tax on sanitary pads to “restore the dignity of our people.”
Despite the stigma that often surrounds menstruation, Ugandan men and boys are getting involved in promoting menstrual hygiene, writes Arthur Matsiko
South Africa held a consultative Indaba on The Draft National Policy Framework on Sanitary Dignity that looks to provide free sanitary towels for young women and girls. In South Africa having a period is an expense that many cannot afford, and millions of girls miss school each month due to lack of sanitary pads.
KwaZulu Natal’s Department of Education in South Africa has launched a programme to distribute free sanitary towels to schoolgirls to keep girls in school during their menstrual cycle. The initiative has received widespread applause, seen as a progressive step towards reducing the barriers that limit and hinder girls’ educational access.
Having your period is no picnic and the way in which society treats the process makes it even worse. We are wildly horrified by the idea of menstruation as it takes away from the idea of the perfect and sexually desirable woman. One, however, should not be shy to say ‘hey I am on my period’ because there is nothing wrong with it.