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Activists push for Reusable Sanitary Pads to combat period poverty

Menstrual hygiene activists are calling for the promotion of reusable sanitary pads among poor girls as the regular ones have proven to be unaffordable.

UN Women’s latest survey reveals that millions of girls globally face barriers in managing their menstruation as most of them cannot afford menstrual products and have challenges accessing water and sanitation facilities.

One of the activists, Enelless Pemba, who is the founder of Chikondi Girls Project Malawi, says reusable sanitary pads can empower more girls to manage their periods with dignity as these pads are washable, long-lasting and cheap to make.

She further said that continued use of unhygienic pieces of old clothes puts most girls at risk of getting infections resulting in skipping classes.

Citizen Impact Organisation’s Executive Director, Chimwemwe Banda, said reusable sanitary pads are durable, affordable, and easy to mass-produce, leveraging existing mother groups and girls’ clubs.

She also emphasised the need for free sanitary pad distribution, as is the case with male condoms, which are readily available even in workplace bathrooms.

Although the government removed taxes on menstrual products, prices remain high, ranging up to K1500 in most shops.

By Alufisha Fischer

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