Source: JUST IN: Misihairabwi-Mushonga hopeful of 2020 budget | The Herald 13 NOV, 2019
Roselyne Sachiti in NAIROBI, Kenya
Chairperson of Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, Hon Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga is hopeful that the 2020 budget to be presented tomorrow by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube will take into consideration reproductive health needs of women and girls, in particular provision of sanitary ware.
Speaking on the sidelines of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) Summit in Nairobi Kenya today, Hon Misihairabwi Mushonga said while import duty and VAT have been removed from sanitary ware, the current economic situation makes it difficult for girls to access them as they are still priced high because of the exchange rate.
“I am praying that tomorrow’s budget will put a little bit of money for sanitary ware for girls going to school. I have been promised that something like that is happening but I am keeping my fingers crossed.
“This is why I am really anxious about tomorrow’s budget. I think if government goes to that level, it will make it easy for us to mobilse with other development partners because they will realise that even government itself thinks it is a real issue,” she revealed.
She noted that the ICPD25 Summit has both been good while in certain circumstances disappointing, especially for Africa.
“We have resource problems and things are bad. To try to relate to countries where things are different and their priorities different has been a challenge. There were circumstances were I am getting a sense that we are together. There are major differences between the South and the North. The North has moved another direction and therefore prioritising other issues because they have the time and resources to do so. In our circumstances we are still trying to save women from dying during childbirth,” she explained.
Added Misihairabwi-Mushonga: “Given the situation in Zimbabwe right now, given the doctors situation and medical issues and expenses associated with someone giving birth, we have women giving birth in their houses assisted by community women not trained as traditional birth attendants.
“At this conference, I wanted to hear what to do with the practical realities on the ground and the resource constraints that we have as Africans and people that are coming from the South.”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga noted that Zimbabwe had progressed well in terms of removing taxes on sanitary pads.
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