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Period for Zimbabwean women
Taurai Maduna, Kubatana.net
April 28, 2006
View audio file details
Rimayi, ZCTU North Eastern Region Treasurer holds one of the
pads donated to Zimbabwe
harsh economic climate in Zimbabwe has seen Zimbabwean women resort
to using newspapers and old pieces of cloth as sanitary towels.
Their plight reached the South African based Action
for Southern Africa (ACTSA) who, in solidarity with their Zimbabwean
counterparts, launched the "DIGNITY Period" campaign.
ACTSA the campaign captured the hearts of people in both the United
Kingdom and southern Africa and donations of sanitary towels poured
in. The Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) recently received a consignment
of 19 tons of sanitary towels. However the ZCTU move to dignify
women incurred a customs duty charge from the Government of Zimbabwe
of approximately ZWD$1.7 billion.
a press conference in Harare, Lovemore Matombo, ZCTU president,
delivery of the sanitary towels had initially been blocked on what
the ZCTU believes to be political grounds. listen
to audio file
of the ZCTU hold some of the sanitary towels
the economic crisis deepens, basic goods like sanitary products
are becoming a luxury item only available to the rich," Mr
Matombo said. The sanitary towels will be distributed to women in
both urban and rural areas through the ZCTU structures, which include
the Womenís Advisory Council; Regional Womenís Advisory Council
as well as women structures of affiliate unions.
the statement made by Opa Muchinguri, Minister of Womenís Affairs,
Gender and Community Development, that Zimbabwe had enough sanitary
towels, Mr Matombo said he was surprised that the minister made
such comments. "She is getting a lot of money and really the
lady should know there are many Zimbabwean women who cannot afford
this product." He added that the minister was out of touch
with the situation on the ground. "Those who are sitting pretty
up there donít know what is going on down here." listen
to audio file
of sanitary towels that ZCTU will be distributing in Zimbabwe
Guta, Chairperson of the ZCTU Womenís Advisory Council said the
sanitary towels would go a long way in assisting impoverished women
who canít afford to purchase these products in the shops. She added
that women in rural areas such as Chipinge are using leaves and
the bark from trees for protection. listen
to audio file
IRIN News, a packet of 10 sanitary pads costs US$10 in Zimbabwe
where the average salary for those fortunate to be employed ranges
from $50 to $100 a month. The news agency further reports that the
imposition of duties had stalled an earlier initiative by Women
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) called "Dignify a Sister". Jenni Williams,
WOZA's national coordinator told IRIN that they had struggled to
raise funds for the customs duty "which really defeated the
purpose of our objective."
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