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A LEGISLATOR has called for issuance of free sanitary pads at maternity homes and schools in view of the decision by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to scrap duty on raw materials used to manufacture sanitary wear.
MDC Proportional Representation MP, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who started a campaign for the scrapping of duty on sanitary wear, argued that women and girls could not afford it, resulting in some using unsafe methods to manage their menstrual periods.
Chinamasa announced in the 2017 National Budget statement that the government would ensure duty-free importation of raw materials, which include pulp, glue and virgin tissue, under manufacturers’ rebate.
“The move will bring prices of sanitary wear down, but what we want to see is a situation where sanitary pads are provided at schools for young girls to access freely, as well as at all maternity homes,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.by Veneranda Langa . source-newsday
“It is a good thing to scrap duty on sanitary wear because if that duty is removed, the manufacturers will be able to produce sanitary wear at a cheaper cost, and, as women MPs, we feel that we have won, but what we need to do is to keep monitoring its implementation.”
She said women giving birth at hospitals used to be asked to bring sanitary wear, and for those who did not have money it was difficult to manage their menstruation.
“Non-governmental organisations will also be able to give out sanitary wear to rural girls, since it will not be very costly for them to do so. Duty-free raw materials will also attract investors, who are interested in sanitary wear manufacturing to come to Zimbabwe as it will be a viable business,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.
The MP said the process of getting Chinamasa to finally remove duty on sanitary wear was a long one, which included meetings with sanitary wear manufacturers, and Finance ministry director Chipo Mhini.
In her motion on sanitary wear in 2014, Misihairabwi-Mushonga said lack of money was forcing poor women and girls to resort to unorthodox means like using pieces of old cloth, tissue paper, old newspapers and other unsafe means to manage their menstrual cycle. This, however, endangered their reproductive health. By Veneranda Langa. source-newsday