WECAN launches ‘Periods of Poverty Campaign’ 

Source: WECAN launches ‘Periods of Poverty Campaign’ -Newsday Zimbabwe

WOMEN Chartered Accountants Network (WECAN) has launched a new campaign to provide access to menstrual products and education to help young girls who do not have adequate access to them.

The Periods of Poverty campaign comes as the organisation is celebrating its seventh anniversary and has dedicated time to go into communities to educate young girls on the importance of women empowerment and gender equality.



Speaking at the anniversary celebrations held in Harare last Friday, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Zimbabwe (Icaz) president Manyara Chigunduru said the organisation was dedicated to giving back to the community.

“We have mentored countless young women, fostered leadership and advocated gender equality. Our network has become a beacon of inspiration to young girls, demonstrating the power of unity and the importance of giving back to our communities,” she said.

“One of our initiatives has been a pads campaign. We have worked in ways to provide menstrual products and education to schools ensuring that young girls do not have to miss school simply because of their periods.”

Chigunduru added that they had delivered thousands of pads, directly impacting the lives of many girls, supporting their education and their right to a dignified menstrual period experience.



She encouraged the public to advocate funding and community engagement in the country to push for pads to be supplied for free in public restrooms.

“The distribution and accessibility of menstrual products, especially in remote areas, continue to be issues that require sustained attention and resources. Continued advocacy, funding and community engagement are essential to ensure that the initiatives are effective and reach all those in need.

“In our society, we often find public toilets stocked with free condoms to promote safe sex. It is time we extend the same consideration to menstrual products. Let us work towards a future where every public toilet and restroom, every school and every community centre is equipped with free pads. No woman should have to face the indignity of being unprepared for a natural biological process.”



Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the anniversary celebrations, WECAN chairperson Janice Sambaza noted that there was need to involve men in building young women’s careers.

“Our vision for the future is to continue evolving, but not only targeting women. We are cognisant (of the fact) that we do not live in a vacuum and we require the support of men as well. All of us cannot testify to not having men playing a pivotal role in our careers,” she said.

Sambaza noted that there has been an increase in the percentage of women sitting in leadership positions since WECAN started.

“We are celebrating seven years today and at the point at which we started, women in leadership within the Icaz field were 10% and since WECAN has started, we are now more than 50% and these are women that are sitting on the Icaz board. We are also seeing increased women participation within the committees in Icaz as well as the number of female students that are passing,” she said.

“What we are seeing as the key driver for our success going forward is the ability to maintain this number as these students going from lower management, medium to senior management remain at that 50%. The purpose for us as we go forward is to provide support so that we don’t lose them.”