Lesotho News Agency – Maseru, Sept 24 — The motion on provision of free sanitary towels in schools received an overwhelming support from the Member of Parliament (MPs) on Monday
The motion, which was proposed by Member of Parliament representing Alliance of Democrats (AD) on proportional representation in the National Assembly Mr. Kose Makoa said some parents are not free to speak to their girls on monthly menstrual cycle periods/
‘The menstruation is still a taboo to some parents to their young girls and this end up impacting negatively to their normal schooling as they miss classes or end up dropping out of school,’ Mr. Makoa proposed that it should be included in the national budget saying he was aware of the financial implications this would have on the country.However, he said after a research he conducted he discovered that some countries like Botswana, Kenya and South Africa are already providing free sanitary towels in schools. Mr. Makoa said stigma as it is the issue is natural and cannot be avoided saying it should be a priority as it could eventually hamper the young girls future.
He was seconded by Member of Parliament for Matsieng constituency N0. 48 Mrs. ‘Mats’epo Molise-Ramakoae who said the issue of menstruation is not a matter of choice but it becomes naturally to young girls.
Mrs. Molise-Ramakoae said some of the disadvantaged young girls miss a considerable time of learning as they are being mocked during menstruation as they do not have access to the pads due to poor back rounds and that also affect their learning.
She highlighted that it also leads to some of them using unhygienic things which could affect their motherhood as they might not be able to bear children.
Mrs. Molise-Ramakoae who is also a chairperson of women’s parliamentary caucus said it is the duty o the house to protect the plight of the girls just like other international organisations like Red Cross are already doing in the country.
She underscored that even Queen ‘Masenate-Mohato Seeiso is already doing it to curb the escalating situation among the poor children.
The MP suggested that there are washable sanitary towels that could be used, adding women who are in prisons should also be provided with the towels, adding that countries like Scotland, Kenya and Botswana are doing it.
Member of Parliament for Movement for Economic Change (MEC) on proportional representation Mrs. ‘Mantsiuoa Mosothoane also supported the motion but said the provision should start in remote areas where poverty is rife.
She also highlighted that the provision of the sanitary wears need not be abused by those in power and should done transparently.
The motion said that free sanitary wear in schools and public places that this house resolves to urge the government to consider providing free sanitary napkins towels to girls in all schools across Lesotho in a bid to address the greatest root cause of girls missing classes and ultimately dropping out of schools.
All the members who spoke on the motion supported the including Minister of Social Development Mrs. Matebatso Doti and the motion was passed.