Namibia: Youth Network Donates Pads to Girls

African Youth and Adolescents Network (AfriYAN) Namibia in the Ohangwena region on Friday distributed sanitary pads to 80 adolescents and young women.

The distribution was done at the Ombili settlement at Eenhana in commemoration of International Menstrual Hygiene Day.

AfriYaN national coordinator and Ohangwena head of gender Immanuel Shikukuma, who accompanied the team, said he believes the need for sanitary pads is genuine and he "thinks it's high time pads are free, like condoms".

Shikukuma said the project aims to restore the dignity of young girls as menstruation is a human rights issue.

The project demands that the government accounts for agreements it has committed to, such as Agenda 2063 of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol.

So far the project has benefited more than 3 000 young people since it started in 2018.

"You can get free condoms anywhere, but something that is supposed to help women is more expensive than it should be. This is disgusting and annoying," Shikukuma said.

He said having sex is a choice, "but women can't do without tampons or pads".

Although several countries in Africa have taken measures to make sanitary pads and tampons affordable for women and schoolgirls. South Africa scrapped value added tax (VAT) on these items from 1 April 2019.

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