Most women in Zimbabwe used to have access to sanitary protection. The crisis in Zimbabwe has meant many no longer have. The women’s section of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions asked ACTSA if we could work with them to supply sanitary pads. The Dignity! Period. campaign was set up to inform people about the needs and priorities of women in Zimbabwe and to provide sanitary protection.
In the midst of the political, economic and humanitarian crisis that Zimbabwe is suffering, challenges surrounding women’s health and hygiene are not often discussed. Since 2005 we have provided over 7.5million sanitary products to women in Zimbabwe. But the issue is ongoing and we need to raise funds and awareness urgently. Take action now and donate to the campaign or contact us to invite a speaker to raise awareness and spread the word!
A Closer Look
Zimbabwe has been enduring a political, economic and humanitarian crisis for 18 years. This crisis has disproportionately impacted on women. Zimbabwe has experienced the biggest economic collapse of a country not at war and has experienced hyperinflation into the billions percent. In 2009 it was forced to abandon its currency which became worthless. Only a small minority of the population are in formal employment. In the midst of this crisis women’s health and hygiene are rarely discussed.
Many women have lost their jobs, and paid work and income has become scarce and more insecure. In many cases women are trying to bring in an income, keep a home and ensure their household is fed. Most women in Zimbabwe used to have access to sanitary protection, however as a result of the enduring crisis this has ceased. Without adequate sanitary protection they have suffered stigma during menstruation, many cannot go to work or school during their periods, and some have resorted to unsafe health practices. These include using leaves, newspapers or even tree bark as a substitute for sanitary pads. This can lead to infection and in some cases infertility.
What is ACTSA doing?
When women in Zimbabwe are asked what are their priorities they will often say food for the family, decent work, good education and health for their children. But when asked in 2004 what is that women in Zimbabwe want, need and previously had women trade unionists in Zimbabwe said safe sanitary protection. At the time this was an issue that no-one else raised let alone responded to.
Women trade unionists in Zimbabwe approached ACTSA and asked if we could provide sanitary protection, and ACTSA launched Dignity!Period.
Since 2005 we have provided over 7.5 million sanitary products. We also produce education and information material, this includes slides, photos and information. In country we liaise with the ZCTU women’s section on this project.
Donate to Dignity!Period. now