Resuable cups will be made avalible to WCCO food program students.

Reusable menstrual cups will be made available to Wits University students who are part of the Wits Citizenship Community Outreach (WCCO) food programme from August 8 this year.

This is in response to a request for free sanitary products made to the institution two years ago by Amnesty Wits.

WCCO manager Karuna Singh said the university, through her organisation, and Wits Campus Health and Wellness Centre (CHWC), have partnered with the Mina Foundation to address the needs of students who cannot afford menstrual products such as pads and tampons. “A partnership between the university (through WCCO) and Mina Foundation will result in the provision of menstrual cups to students in need.”

Haafizah Bhamjee, deputy chairperson of Amnesty Wits which petitioned the university for free pads and tampons in 2016, told Wits Vuvuzela, “We are unaware of the university ever committing to providing menstrual cups for students. “However, we understand that it is not a long term solution to the problem.”

The reusable silicone cup, which is inserted into the vagina and then fills up, needs to be emptied and sanitised through washing and boiling every six hours.

One cup can be used for up to five years. The cups are produced by the Mina Foundation and retail on their website for R399.99.

The cups will be made freely available to needy students at Wits but some are less than impressed by the move.

Third-year BA Law student, Sania Mutwanamba, said, “That is so gross. I’m not going to use it. I’d rather stick to pads.”

Second-year law student, Ashleigh Maistry, told Wits Vuvuzela that it would be inconvenient for her to use the cup because often, she is at campus for more than six hours at a time.

Nina Nosworthy, a drama therapy honours student said that she already uses a cup because it’s environmentally friendly. “Economically, it’s a better option,” she added.

The WCCO will host a workshop to teach eligible students the benefits of the cups and how to use them.

The cups will be made available thereafter.

Wits Vuvuzela, #WorthBleedingFor campaign’s pads plan, April, 2016
Wits Vuvuzela, #WorthBleedingFor campaign back at Wits indefinitely, August, 2017
Wits Vuvuzela, Wits mum on free sanitary pads, August, 2016