Men in academia at Wits have been urged to donate and contribute pads.

Men in academia are being urged to collect and donate sanitary towels as part of a challenge set by the Wits School of Human and Community Development School Council (SHCD).

The challenge, which is open to all Wits University faculties was started on Monday, August 13 and will run to September 7.

Katu Thyala, projects and campaigns officer of the SHCD council said that the initial plan was to challenge men on campus to promote and provide pads to ensure that more women and girls do not miss school during their periods.

“Female peers are embarrassed to walk around campus when their period starts simply because they do not have sanitary towels at their disposal,” Thyala said.

Thyala said that they are hoping to receive monetary donations to buy pink wheelie bins as a long-term solution which would ensure a steady supply of pads to the Wits community.

She added the initiative focuses on men in order to make it easier for them to donate sanitary towels. “Men could just say I can do it but how many men actually come through.”

Professor Ruksana Osman, Dean of the Humanities faculty said, “I think this is a worthy challenge which will certainly be supported by the university community more broadly.”

First-year Linguistics tutor and honours student, Aubrey Neo Sehlahla, said that the challenge is a chance for men to dominate the news cycle in a positive way.

He added that this initiative can spark a different outlook from men on social issues.

“It might just get males even more involved into issues of the society,” Sehlahla said.

“We are not only doing it for the ladies, but for a better and harmonious social outlay within Wits and hopefully beyond,” he added.

Only the faculties of Humanities, Commerce, Law and Management, and Science are participating in the challenge. Bins for donations can be found at these faculties.

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