Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane hands over menstrual and hygiene products to Minister Lindiwe Zulu as part of Coronavirus #Covid19SA social relief measures, 11 May 2020

Minister Lindiwe Zulu of Social Development on CoVID-19 related handover of menstrual and hygiene Products

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane;
the Acting Directors-General of the Department of Social Development and the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, respectively;
Representatives of our partner organisations: UNFPA; WaterAid; the Footprints Foundation and the Langelihle Youth Foundation

The Department of Social Development is grateful to be part of collaboration with the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) in partnership with UNFPA, Water AID and other Social Partners.

When this collaboration was started, the Department of Social Development was mandated to identify vulnerable women and girls who need to access menstrual health products. It made sense for us to start by identifying these in our facilities and shelters. Together with provincial departments of social development, we identified the beneficiary population who are in need of the products and who will benefit from them.

The Department of Social Development is taking advantage of our tried-andtested food parcel distribution mechanism during the lockdown period to access the beneficiaries in all provinces. It is through this mechanism that these sanitary products and services will reach our beneficiaries. The identified Centres and shelters across provinces included the following:

  • Substance Abuse Shelters for Victims of Crime and Gender Based Violence Treatment Centres
  • Facilities for Persons with Disabilities
  • Community Nutrition and Development Centres
  • Child and and Youth Care Centres, Drop In Centres,
  • Thuthuzela Centres and
  • Shelters for Homeless People.

As much as this partnership between us is focused on the CoVID-19 lockdown period, we intend to extend it to the post-lockdown and post-pandemic period.

This is informed by our recognition that women’s sanitary needs are a natural biological reality that does not go away simply because there is no lockdown or pandemic. This need remains there throughout a woman’s life. Therefore, interventions that are targeted at addressing women’s menstrual needs are not an exception. Let me emphasise, they are as normal as the need to eat and drink water!

Found on this partnership, sanitary, hygiene and menstrual awareness interventions will be normalised during and in the post-lockdown and post pandemic periods. Resulting from this, all members of society will be empowered with practical information on sanitary needs, menstrual health management and hygiene. Along these will be the inclusion of sexual reproductive health and rights advocacy.-

Working as a Portfolio in all spheres of government, the Department of Social Development and its entities is proud to be associated with this partnership.

I thank the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities; the UNFPA; WaterAid; the Footprints Foundation; the Langelihle Youth Foundation; and the diversity of civil society organisations for sustaining and implementing this partnership.

I thank you.