Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ joins the world in commemorating the International Menstrual Hygiene day (MHD) by raising awareness and highlighting the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM). This is a day we commemorate at a time when menstrual hygiene management is very challenging for girls and women in Zimbabwe, where clean water and toilet facilities are often inadequate.
In most rural areas some young girls are resort to using weeds and leaves in place of sanitary pads thus compromising their Reproduction Health.
It is against this background that ARTUZ is appealing for free sanitary wear in our schools. Most rural learners come from very poor backgrounds and they cannot afford them. Female teachers bear the burden of counseling these kids who are traumatized by their want of the pads that forces teachers at times to donate pads to these disadvantaged learners.
ARTUZ advocates for free sanitary pads instead of free condoms since sexual intercourse is by choice. We also advocates for the provision of refreshing rooms in our schools so that the girl child can freshen up during the course of the day and remain confident of themselves. In addition, we urge government to ensure there are free painkillers for period pains in all schools.
Girls’ self-image may be negatively impacted by adverse attitudes towards menstruation. In light of this, more health education to male counterparts to respect this natural cause especially in schools, tertiary institutions and at church where some women are considered unclean when they have their menstruation is of paramount importance. The state of mind is the same with or without menstruation.
Let’s use this day to celebrate the unique beauty of being a woman. Let’s also donate to the cause of the underprivileged girl child and women of our Society.
ARTUZ Gender and Social Welfare department has opened a Sanitary Pads Bank to accept donations from those who wish to contribute towards menstrual hygiene of girls in rural schools.
Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)