Tackling period poverty one dispenser at a time
The Wits School of Business Sciences Students Council are making plans to install free pad dispensers throughout the University.
Feminine hygiene and access to sanitary products were the topic of conversation, as members of Project Revolutionize engaged strangers in an awareness drive on May 8, 2023.
Period Poverty refers to the lack of access to menstrual products, and this is what the project is aiming to eradicate by installing free pad dispensers across campuses.
Transformation officer of Project Revolutionize, Yolisa Sphambo said that they identified the need for the project while in a bathroom. She said “where are the pads” had been scribbled next to a free condom dispenser.
Sphambo said that Project revolutionize is different to similar past projects as they are focusing on sustainability and making the provision of pads a norm.
She said their project was aiming to revolutionize a women’s whole period, “Revolutionary [to us] means to feel comfortable to be soft within your period cycle”.
A business sciences student, Babongile Tshabalala said that “I think it is something we truly need within the Wits society, because pads are more of a need than a want compared to the condoms that are readily available in the bathrooms.”
Sarah Eram, the chairperson of the project said to Wits Vuvuzela, “The quality of pads students use is important as using unsafe menstrual products can lead to health issues and these are some things students don’t know.”
“We have started speaking with people that are going to install the dispensers, we have found some people who are going to fund pads for the dispensers and some of lectures have committed themselves to donating” said Sphambo.
Melissa Zulu, senior lecturer of marketing told Wits Vuvuzela “I decided to support this project because… girls and women should be able to go through it with respect and dignity.”
This is a three-part launch, and the awareness week is the first step, the next steps involve having a workshop around the education of feminine hygiene and the installation of the dispensers.
FEATURED IMAGE: Babongile Tshabalala shares her opinion on the importance of free pads. Photo: Aphelele Mbokotho
- Wits Vuvuzela, Push to end ‘period poverty’ at Wits , April 2022
- Wits Vuvuzela, “Free sanitary products now!”, demand student activists , September 2022
- Wits Vuvuzela, PROFILE: Witsie advocating for women’s basic needs , June 2022