Curator | Nust-ZW
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Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube yesterday suspended customs duty on sanitary wear for the next one year.
Presenting the 2019 National Budget in Parliament, Prof Ncube said this was meant to cushion underprivileged women and girls in the interim, while the local supply of sanitary wear improves
I propose to suspend customs duty for sanitary wear for a period of 12 months beginning December 1, 2018. I also propose to exempt imports of sanitary wear from Value Added Tax,’ said Prof Ncube.
POLITICS OF PERIODS
Parliamentarians and various organisations have been running campaigns aimed at advocating for health and wellness particularly access to sanitary wear.
The campaigns call for standardised, affordable prices for sanitary wear, pushing for a mandatory sustainable sanitary wear budget in every Government institution and public spaces, free sanitary wear in schools and also pushing organisations like the United Nations to prioritise girls and young women’s health and wellness.
These campaigns have revealed that:
…many young girls miss school during their menstrual periods, while others are subjected to sexual harassment and abuse as a result of lack of access to sanitary wear, which makes them eventually drop out of school.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs and Youth, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga is on record as saying the health needs of girls should be prioritised by Government.
Parliamentarians from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party have urged the government to invest in the industry and provide free period products as a show of respect.
“Sanitary wear should be made readily available free of charge just like condoms; government should pay for sanitary wear. Government should take the dignity of women and girls seriously,” Jessie Majome, a Zimbabwean legislator from the opposition MDC party, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation