The Law Student Council plans to institutionalize the provision of pads in bathrooms around campus through their newly launched pad drive

Wits LSC advocates for free provision of sanitary pads on campus.                 Photo: Chante Schatz


All campus bathrooms will have free sanitary towels by mid-2018. This is the goal of the Law Student Council (LSC), which is launching a pad drive this semester to assist students who cannot afford sanitary towels and for cases of emergency.

The LSC is planning to source bulk donations of sanitary towels from different companies and place them in campus toilets. Students will then be able to access sanitary towels at their convenience in time of need.

The campaign will start with Law School bathrooms, however, the LSC says it is in the process of working with student councils from other schools to make sure that free sanitary towels are provided all around Wits.

The LSC aims to collect 20 000 sanitary pad packets from respective donors by the time its term of office ends in mid-2018.

Community Development and Outreach Officer for the LSC Sinazo Hanise said, “It is not your normal pad drive in a sense that we are not looking for donations from students per say. The goal is also not to have sanitary towels in storage at the LSC office for students to come and collect.” Hanise added that placing them in the toilets allows for greater accessibility and for students to avoid feeling embarrassed because they have to ask for sanitary pads.

Third year Law student, Evile Sombo, said,“Pads are very expensive and it is very difficult to include them in your monthly budget. It is also a good idea to ask companies for donations instead of students, as they have more resources.”

Law student Boitumelo Dhlamini said, “It is in the interest of the entire Wits community to provide girls with free sanitary pads. We already know of the struggles of some of the students not having secure living and good arrangements. Imagine the added stress when your period comes that month. It is a great start and hopefully other faculties will do the same in the future.”

Hanise said the pad drive is a pilot that aims to show university management that institutionalising free sanitary towels in campus toilets is possible.



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