That time of the month : discrimination against girl children who cannot afford sanitary health care

Mills, Lize ; Howe, Comine (2019)

CITATION: Mills, L. & Howe, C. 2019. That time of the month : discrimination against girl children who cannot afford sanitary health care. In: Skivenes, M. & Sovig, K. H. (eds.) Child Rights and International Discrimination Law : implementing article 2 of the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. London: Routledge, 228.

Chapters in Books

The majority of women, and only women, experience a biological reality approximately every 28 days. Menstruation is a nightmare for some, but particularly for the group of indigent women and adolescent girls who cannot afford sanitary health care products that will enable them to manage their period effectively. These monthly necessities for women are also subject to Value Added Tax in South Africa, adding an additional 15 percent to the price. This lack of access to adequate sanitary wear affects only females, and it affects their rights significantly. Not only does it violate girl children’s dignity and self-worth, but exacerbates the feminisation of poverty by infringing their right to education and health and negatively affects the realisation of gender equality. This chapter examines this instance of discrimination against girls by describing the failure of the South African government to consider the best interests of girl children in this specific respect.

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