A cross section of Zimbabwean women have called on the first lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa to intervene towards the increase in sanitary wear prices as they have skyrocketed in recent weeks.
ln separate interviews with 263Chat, several women said as the first lady is supposed to be representing the needs of the vulnerable, she should intervene in this course as it affects their sexual health.
“We are calling upon our mother, Mai Mnangagwa, to talk to the president so that he will consider that pads prices are too high and we are no longer affording to buy them.
“Our plea is that as women, we are suffering and can the first lady come to our rescue. She can help us by talking to the president to restore the purchasing power of our money, “said Chido Ruziva.
“l have three girls, one is at university and the other ones are still in high school, they need my help. l am a vendor here at Machipisa and it is very difficult for me to access the money to buy sanitary wear for my girls,” she added.
Other women called for the free distribution of sanitary wear especially in schools arguing that if condoms can be distributed for free, sanitary wear should also be for free.
“Sanitary pads should be given for free and they must be found in toilets just like condoms, we are suffering please may the first lady consider that and talk to ED (President Emmerson Mnangagwa).
“He should do the same with what he did on the reduction of fuel prices, which were reduced recently,” said one woman in Harare.
Others revealed that they have resorted to using unhealthy means during their mensuration period.
“Do they know that we have started using cow dung and other traditional methods which is unacceptable during this modern world, we need sanitary pads to be affordable for every women, “noted Mai Chido.
Another woman called on female parliamentarians to push forward their pleas so that they can be heard in parliament.
“We understand that there are women in the parliament, why are they not considering the fact that pads should be available to the girl child.
“It is our right to get those pads for free or at cheap prices, “said Tatenda Mapira.
“Going to periods is not a crime but its nature just like having sex that’s why we find condoms placed anywhere at schools, work places and many more and why not sanitary pads? We are appealing to the first lady and women within the cabinet to consider that in the Parliament, “said Charmaine James.
Addressing informal traders at the price must fall road show on Saturday, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union first vice president Florence Taruvinga urged the first family to take advantage of the situation since elections are around the corner.
“As women we are applaud what the first lady is doing especially for women within Zimbabwe but if she is not able to tell the President about the price hikes what does she want us to do.
“She must tell the president to serve the country, people are dying out there and women needs sanitary pads at cheap prices,” she said
In October last year, the former minister of Women Affairs, Gender And Community Development, Nyasha Chikwinya, announced that the ministry had contracted two companies to manufacture sanitary pads that would be distributed for free or at low cost (50 cents).