In an interview with The Chronicle on Wednesday, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said girls as young as 9 years old are taking contraceptives due to the high cost of sanitary pads.
She said sanitary pads remain expensive despite the removal of duty on all things that are imported to produce them, by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. Said Misihairabwi-Mushonga:
I met girls that are aged from nine to 14 years that have resorted to using contraceptives to avoid their periods because they have no access to resources. When a girl uses contraceptives at such an early age, she messes up her reproductive health system. When we had the 2016 budget, the Minister of Finance said he had removed duty on all things that are imported to produce sanitary pads. It is law in this country but the implementation has been problematic. I don’t know what Zimra is supposed to do which they haven’t done but duty on sanitary pads should just be scrapped.