The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Water Aid Southern Africa, Footprints Foundation and Langelihle Youth Foundation formed solidarity partnerships in ensuring that menstrual and hygiene products are made available for vulnerable women and girls in indigent households, shelters, informal settlements and quarantine spots during the lock-down period and beyond.
As part of the social impact resulted from regulations to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, there is general increase in the need for sanitary products for destitute families. The lockdown period also disrupted the normal sanitary dignity programme delivery channels such as schools. Displacement or relocation to places of safety and shelters has also left women and girls without access to sanitary products.
Recognising that the Corona Virus has brought about a disruption in sanitary dignity programmes delivered by most departments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) the need to address menstrual health in society has become more important than ever. It is also critical for all sectors of society to determine the most suitable distribution channels to reach the most vulnerable groups. Access to menstrual and hygiene products to women and girls will address the critical need of our communities to stay healthy, clean and safe from infections.
As part of COVID-19 social relief measures, the Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, together with Representatives from Water Aid Southern Africa, United Nations in South Africa, Footprints Foundation and Langelihle Youth Foundation will hand over menstrual and hygiene products to the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu in ensuring that these packs reach women and girls in shelters such as child & youth care centres (CYCC) shelters for victims of crime & gender-based violence, facilities for persons with disabilities, shelters for homeless and Thuthuzela Care Centres as well as girls in communities who are part of some of the programmes implemented by NGOs.
The initiative is also utilised to encourage all sectors of society to play their part in ensuring that menstrual and hygiene products are made available for vulnerable women and girls in indigent households, shelters, informal settlements and quarantine spots during the lock-down period and beyond.