Wednesday, March 22, 2006

When its your time of the month and you might die because of it...

There is an early day motion before the House of Commons which caught my eye whilst reading Jo’s blog.

That this House recognises the prominent role played by women in the struggle for democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe; is appalled that the dignity and health of many women in Zimbabwe is seriously compromised by the lack of access to sanitary products at anything other than prohibitive prices; welcomes the Action for Southern Africa Sanitary Appeal launched by Thabitha Khumalo, Women’s Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions; and calls upon the Department for International Development to find ways of making available funds to support this initiative.

I can’t imagine what it would be like not able to purchase basic toiletries or necessities. When I realised the implications of not having access to sanitary towels for women in Zimbabwe it became so clear that this is about a whole lot more that your trip to Boots or having the money in your pocket to buy what you needed. And it’s Mugabe’s regime which is causing this and so many other circumstances to occur and the worlds attention is drawn elsewhere.

Dignity. Period! is a campaign run by Action for Southern Africa which highlights the many effects on women not having access to or being able to afford sanitary products.

Being a woman in Zimbabwe is like going to war with a gun minus bullets. Sanitary towels are now threatening the Zimbabwean woman's livelihood. In Zimbabwe women are unable to afford the small quality and quantity of sanitary products that are available currently in the market…

  • …This lack of available sanitary products has led to an increase in vaginal infections.

  • With the shortage of drugs in hospitals treatments are either unaffordable or unavailable.

  • This has led to incidents of domestic violence and the fear is that these incidents will increase, due to lack of spouse/partner knowledge about the difference between STI/STD's and vaginal infections.

  • These infections provide an optimal biological environment for the spreading of STI's and particularly HIV/AIDS…

You can listen to a Zimbawbean Trade Union Activist, Thabitha Khumalo speaking about the situation facing women and children in the country here.

Hat-tip: Jo Salmon


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