Zhombe girls missing school for lack of sanitary pads: ZWACT

Prisca Manyiwa-Masuku

Young girls in Zhombe are missing school during their menstrual periods due to a lack of sanitary wear; Zimbabwe Women Against Corruption (ZWACT) has revealed.

During a meeting organised by ZWACT in Zhombe last Wednesday, women poured out their grievances with regards to access to Sexual Reproductive Health Services and lack of sanitary pads.

“One of the disturbing issues that came out of our meeting with women is that girls are missing school during their menstrual cycle because they can’t afford to buy sanitary wear.

“This was a touching issue which came out from parents and what they ask is assistance from the government to have sanitary wear products distributed in rural schools, ” said ZWACT director Sandra Matendere.

Furthermore, ZWACT established that women are made to pay ‘hefty’ amounts of money that most rural women cannot afford in order to get access to family planning services and maternal care.

“Pregnant women fail to register their pregnancies in time because they are asked to pay a $40 USD “emergency” fee.

“Accessing basic services such as family planning is a major challenge in the area as the women reiterated that they only got these services from health-care workers at home and not at the nearby mission hospital.

” They said they pay some money amounting to between $1- $10 depending on the method of family planning they use, ” said Matendere.

ZWACT visited Zhombe for a community engagement meeting with grassroots women on health care sector corruption specifically looking at how it is hindering women’s access to sexual and reproductive health care including maternal care.

The program was well attended by women from different age groups who shared their experiences.

ZWACT urged women to report cases of corruption to the appropriate authorities and the Zimbabwe Republic Police so that the culprits can be brought to book.

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