15 June 2017
EQUAL EDUCATION MEDIA STATEMENT: EE GAUTENG MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DECLARATION ADOPTED AFTER SUCCESSFUL COLLOQUIUM
Equal Education Gauteng held a successful Menstrual Hygiene Colloquium on Saturday 10 June 2017 at the Wits Education Campus in Parktown.
The colloquium focused on the question of access to sanitary wear, highlighting the many health concerns as well as stigmatisation of learners while menstruating. The colloquium also touched on the work done by organisations to create awareness around menstruation, reproductive health, and education. In addition, the colloquium was a space for presentations and discussion on how to engage various affected government departments, and ensure that access to sanitary wear is provided. It was attended by over a hundred learners, NGO’s and civil society actors, and government representatives.
The colloquium culminated in the adoption of a Menstrual Hygiene Declaration that pushes towards adopting a policy that ensures the adequate and consistent provision of sanitary wear. The declaration states that:
“A policy intended to guide the provision of sanitary wear and the implementation of that policy should be underpinned by the following principles:
- Recognition of the importance of menstruation, and the respect that should be afforded to the biological process.
- That the lack of sanitary wear affects primarily poor learners in quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools.
- The Gauteng Department of Social Development, Gauteng Department of Education, and the Gauteng Department of Health need to ensure learners are afforded the dignity of having sanitary wear made available in quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools on a sustainable and consistent nature.
- Oversight mechanisms must be put in place to ensure accountability and compliance that maintains the aim of the policy.
- That the policy is a result of consultative process (with education stakeholders, civil society and the general public).”
The declaration has been adopted by the following organisations: Equal Education, Livity Africa, Girl Child Movement, Equal Education Law Centre, Princess D Menstrual Cup, Section 27 and Amandla.mobi.
For further information:
Zandile Ngubeni (EE Gauteng Co-Head)
Naadira Munshi (EE Gauteng Co-Head)