Global Citizens — our voices have been heard! You sent 86,000 emails demanding that the South African government give free pads to girls in need, and remove the tax on sanitary products. On 24 October, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced he would do both by April 2019!
This is incredible news, and shows the power of our voices. But there is more to be done. This pledge will only change lives with the right funding behind it — so we want to make sure: will enough money will be committed to implement this promise? You also asked the government to urgently ensure safe, gender-separated toilets in no-fee government schools, and to provide quality education on menstrual health and hygiene for girls and boys, and they are yet to respond.
For girls like Sive, #ItsBloodyTime for change. Every month, she must make the tough decision whether to buy food or sanitary products — and often gets teased if she bleeds on her clothes. “When we do not have money to buy sanitary pads, I take my old clothes, tear them up, and use them instead,” Sive says. “I feel sad when my friends make fun of me. I stay at home [from school].”
Let’s step up the pressure and make sure the government’s promise delivers for girls like Sive. In August, the National Treasury accepted emails from the general public to pass onto the South African Finance Minister, which was crucial in the Minister's final decision. In response, over 22,000 Global Citizens urged the Finance Minister to take comprehensive action for menstrual health and sanitation. This month, Tito Mboweni used Twitter to ask how South Africans would choose to spend the national budget, so we know he’s listening. Tweet Minister Mboweni and President Ramaphosa and ask them to make a stand for menstrual health.