31336127 The University of the Western Cape (UWC) Student Representative Council (SRC) has received a donation of 1067 sanitary pads from Dischem - the donation forms part of the ongoing Social Makeover Project (SMP) by the Western Cape department of Social development office led by MEC Albert Fritz. In his keynote address at Parliament on 13 May 2015, Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela, said limited hygiene options make it difficult for female students to participate in school during their monthly menstruation cycle. The Deputy Minister described the issues of sanitary towels as one that is more than a “women's issue” but an educational one, and a key global development issue, stating, “Girls who cannot afford pads or tampons miss approximately 5 days of school a month, which amounts to 60 missed school days a year”. The SMP, via the office of the Western Cape MEC of Social Development, received the donation from Old Mutual and Imbalie Group for distribution purposes by the Dischem group, courtesy of its national Million Comforts initiative. UWC-SRC Deputy President, Lukhanyiso Lk Matebese, said when they as the UWC-SRC came into office, they came in with a mandate from the South African Student Congress (SASCO) to ensure that women’s dignity is brought back and that women are respected, which is why they pledged to start a campaign to donate sanitary pads on campus. “Women pay large amounts for being women. That was never acceptable and it will never be. Amongst other things women struggle to put food on the table and clothes on their backs and we decided to do this little thing for women on our campus who cannot afford to buy sanitary towels, let alone toiletries - just to make a little difference in their lives. “We are very excited and happy about the donation by Dischem and we know it will go a very long way. For years people focused on high schools and townships, forgetting that university students struggle too - as our universities are a replica of our societies. “As the SRC we are appealing to the larger campus community to also get involved where they can and make drop-offs at the SRC office or the Communications and Media Relations Office at the Administration East Wing, Basement,” she concluded. - SOURCE: UWC Pic: IOL

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