Free sanitary pads provision in schools debate reignites

Sanitary pads PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Sanitary pads PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

FRANCISTOWN: In 2017, Botswana joined a list of some progressive countries in Africa following the adoption of a motion on the provision of free sanitary pads to all schools under the Ministry of Basic Education.

Although it is a well-known fact that opposition parties in Botswana advocated for free sanitary pads in schools long before the Botswana Democratic Party's (BDP) Member of Parliament for Nata-Gweta, Polson Majaga tabled the motion in 2017, which legislating for free provision, was well-received. The motion was first tabled in Parliament in 2012 by Botsalo Ntuane, then a member of the Botswana Movement for Democracy. It took five years for the motion to be tabled under the BDP and finally be adopted in Parliament after Ntuane had changed into the ruling party colours. By then Majaga and then secretary-general, Ntuane were party fellows.

Despite the motion's arduous journey, many politicians across the political spectrum hailed the progressive step, with cheers from parents, civic organisations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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