ZIMRA suspends import duty on sanitary wear
March 24, 2020
The announcement by the country’s revenue authority ZIMRA to scrap off all import duty on sanitary wear has been applauded amid the Corona virus scare which might prove catastrophic. Should the country go on lock down, it means period commodities such as pads will not be easily accessible from the shops which would subsequently push their price to sky rocket. Period poverty in Zimbabwe is already rife and continues unabated despite several calls from a number of bodies to make sanitary wear free for all women and also regularize the price. The most vulnerable being rural women and girls whose poverty is glaring during their period when they resort to using unhygienic materials such as leaves and dirty rags which are detrimental to their health. Statistics by the Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs indicate that 67 percent of girl’s miss school due to lack of pads especially those with a heavy flow for fear of being ostracized by their peers especially boys which makes this a very uncomfortable and stressful time for these girls. Sanitary wear has become a luxury for most women owing to the prevailing economic woes where local manufacturers are redundant because of lack of foreign currency such that most of the menstrual material is imported from neighboring countries at a price above the reach of any ordinary woman. The call by ZIMRA then contributes positively towards improving menstrual well-being in the country.