Girls from disadvantaged communities now no longer have to miss school during their menstrual cycle.
Girls who cannot afford to buy sanitary pads sometimes miss about 60 days of school a year. This is according to the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
To ensure that this does not happen the department has partnered with the Clicks Helping Hand Trust to distribute reusable sanitary towels at schools across the province.
The joint campaign was recently launched in Hopetown at Steynville High School and will be rolled out to rural schools.
The department said the distribution of reusable sanitary towels will ensure that girls can attend school during menstruation and will financially benefit impoverished families.
The reusable sanitary towel has a life span of three to five years and it is environmentally friendly.
Developed, designed and manufactured by Project Dignity founder Sue Barnes the Subz pads are made from five layers of specialised fabrics which earned the product absorbency approval from the South African Bureau of Standards.
Barnes developed the product after learning about some girls’ dire situation at African schools.
Sports, Arts and Culture MEC Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said the lack of affordable sanitary products puts girls at a disadvantage in terms of education and prevents their mobility and productivity as young women.
“Without sanitary products girls are excluded from their right to an education as stipulated by the Constitution of South Africa,” said the MEC.
Clicks manager Donna Davids said the inability of girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to show up at school for a week during their periods has a profound negative impact on their education.
“While we will continue with our activations which aim to provide all young South African women with reusable sanitary pads, we are thrilled that the public is also able to purchase them,” she said.
The department has appealed to the public to support the campaign by visiting their nearest Clicks branch and making a donation of R29,95 at till points.
The Clicks Helping Hand Trust is a registered non-profit organisation that offers free clinic services, through its network of clinics, to disadvantaged South Africans who do not have a medical aid and lack access to basic primary healthcare services.