Government says it’s time for South African women to take back their dignity as the Sanitary Dignity Programme was launched in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga.

Under the programme, government will be distributing sanitary towels at schools for free.

Some beneficiaries have expressed gratitude. “Bringing the sanitary towels to us, I am grateful because I will now be able to go to school. Because I wasn’t able to because I was not able to buy sanitary pads.”

However, some are sceptical. “We trust that this is not just a stunt and that it will continue until next year and the year after that.”

Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtshweni says government wants the project to be led by women.

“Our children will benefit in terms of getting sanitary towels, but who are the manufacturers or producers? We are saying, as government, this is an opportunity for our women to partake in this program, not front.”

From 1 April, Treasury will allocate funds to all the nine provinces to roll out the project, but the timing of this launch is questioned by some as it is suspected to be electioneering.

Minister for Women in the Presidency, Bathabile Dlamini says that they do not want to undermine the voters.

“We menstruate on a monthly basis as women. Therefore, we can’t wait because we are afraid of elections. What’s good is that our kids know their rights and we don’t want people to undermine voters.”

Women are being urged to form co-operatives and small companies to take the lead in this program.

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