One of the crucial projects the Department of Women in South Africa is undertaking is the development of a Sanitary Dignity Implementation Framework. In the Framework, the dignity of indigent women and schoolgirls in quintiles one, two and three are to be enhanced so that they are not inconvenienced by the unavoidable biological phenomenon of menstruation.
This tackles the matter of social justice as well as the issue of reproductive health and rights. The undertaking by the Department of Women is to set norms and standards so that the implementing departments can work in an organized and coordinated manner.
Consultations with private sector organizations and provincial governments already operating in the space are taking place to ensure that private-public partnerships are forged. The Department of Women has commissioned research and simultaneous consultations in the three pilot provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape, which have been identified by Cabinet.
The Department of Women will examine the value chain of manufacturing, storage, distribution and waste management. This will include exploration of business opportunities for young up-and-coming black entrepreneurs, as well as Menstrual Health Management Programmes, which will be run in conjunction with relevant departments and roleplayers.
The pilot programme in the three provinces will offer the department an opportunity to unleash a well thought out sanitary dignity implementation strategy that is properly budgeted for, with the assistance of National Treasury, so that all the intended beneficiaries are appropriately reached.