In what was described as ‘a social responsibility move,’ EALA passed the resolution urging the region to waive taxes on sanitary pads in the region saying the move is aimed at enhancing quality, availability and affordability of pads.
The move, according to legislators, is further expected to keep girls in school and to ensure their well-being, enhanced dignity and respect of rights.
The motion moved by Dr Odette Nyiramilimo notes that poor menstrual hygiene in the East African Community is an insufficiently acknowledged issue and that poor girls often have no access to the sanitary products.
“This leads to social trauma and distress especially when occasioned by wearing poor protective clothing during the menses, a move contributing to gender disparities in schools,” the legislator noted adding that some students even dropped out of school or missed classes as a result.
The resolution thus urged governments and the private sector to consider making school sanitation facilities more user friendly and to ensure such cubicles have locks.
The members further called for the EAC Partner States of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, to introduce reproductive health curriculum in schools and to avail sanitary pads and painkillers in all schools ensuring they are distributed whenever necessary.
The resolution further lauded the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the government of Kenya for abolishing tax on sanitary pads imports.
The motion received overwhelming response from the House members, with backing contributions from various Members, including Hon Abubakar Zein, Hon AbuBakr Ogle, Ms Nancy Abisai and Dr Martin Nduwimana.
Others supporting the motion were Ms Shy-Rose Bhanji and Ms Mukasa Mbidde. The East African Legislative Assembly continues with business inside the EALA Chambers in Arusha. The assembly is sitting for its 1st Meeting of the 2nd Session of the Third Assembly here.