HARARE-(MaraviPost)-Zimbabwean women are using unhygienic materials including rags, newspapers, mud and cow dung amid the skyrocketing prices of sanitary products in the country.

Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) disclosed in a report.

Sanitary pads being dried

“Menstruation, although a normal bodily function, is still met with silence, taboos and stigma. Women and girls face numerous challenges in managing their menstrual cycle as pads and other supplies may be unavailable or unaffordable. They may also lack access to safe toilet facilities with clean water where they can clean themselves in privacy and they face discriminatory cultural norms or practices that make it difficult to maintain good menstrual hygiene.

“Many women without access to menstrual products improvise with old blankets, toilet paper, rags, newspapers, mud and even cow dung,” reads part of the report.

According to the NewsDay report, the cheapest packet of 10 sanitary pads in the country is now priced at US$1 800 or US$1,50 to US$2, while very expensive brands are costing up to US$10.

Zimcodd also revealed that young girls without access to sanitary products are reportedly absent from school for a few days every month leading to reduced attendance and consequently poor grades.

The organization has called on government and other rights bodies to act on the issue to avoid infringement of women’s rights to education, reproductive health, water and sanitation.

Zimbabwe has suffered sanitary wear crisis for the last couple of years.

In 2018, some women revealed that they had been using weeds and leaves in place of sanitary pads.

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