Skip to comments.Celebrities back tampon rebels of Zimbabwe
Posted on 05/06/2006 10:28:51 PM PDT by MadIvan
SHE has been arrested 22 times, tortured so badly that her front teeth were knocked into her nose and had an AK-47 thrust up her vagina until she bled. Thabitha Khumalos crime: to campaign against a critical shortage of tampons and sanitary towels in Zimbabwe, one of the least talked about and most severe side-effects for women of the countrys economic crisis.
Now her cause has been taken up in Britain by celebrities including the actors Anna Chancellor, Gillian Anderson, Prunella Scales and Jeremy Irons.
Later this month they will launch Dignity. Period!, a fundraising campaign to buy sanitary products for Zimbabwes women. It will start with a night of entertainment at the 20th Century theatre in Notting Hill, west London, hosted by Stephen Fry.
So desperate is the situation that women are being forced to use rolled-up pieces of newspaper. Zimbabwe already has the worlds lowest life expectancy for women 34 and Khumalo believes these unhygienic practices could make it drop to as low as 20 because infections will make them more vulnerable to HIV. Its a time bomb, she said. The shortage is forcing schoolgirls to stay at home when they start menstruating.
The crisis began in 1999 when Johnson & Johnson, the healthcare manufacturer, pulled out of the country because of the worsening economic situation. Zimbabwe then had to import products from neighbouring South Africa. But the collapse of the currency and the worlds highest inflation, now more than 1,000%, have made the products unaffordable to all but the elite.
In a country where the minimum wage is Z$6m (£17.14) a month, the cost of a box of 20 tampons is Z$3m. Who in their right mind is going to spend half their earnings on tampons? asked Khumalo. As it is most people can only afford to eat once a day. Women are being forced to choose between their own health and the survival of their family.
Khumalo, 45, general secretary of the Womens Advisory Council of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and a mother of two, started her campaign after she saw a woman walking awkwardly on the street: She told me she was going home from work because she had her period and could no longer afford sanitary protection or cotton wool.
When an MP raised the issue in parliament, government ministers fell about laughing and dismissed the matter. Khumalo has tried to highlight it through public meetings and distributing scarves printed with demands for affordable sanitary wear. As a result she has been repeatedly arrested and beaten, but refuses to be deterred.
All cultures are equal..
There are no absolutes, like right or wrong - or good and evil.
Africa for the Africans...
This is what Africans and the World's leftists wanted - The whites robbed and evicted and the Africans "reclaiming" the land......
I'm happy for them....
"or cotton wool."
I understand, but what did women use before having to purchase sanitary products?
They are probably using the New York Times
in an odd coincidence the dune thingy kinda looks like the tip of a tampon
Rastus, thanks for the info.
Yes, I was referring to the Dune image. I'm sure you can understand the miscomprehension.
Yes, I can. I've just happened to see a few of Ivan's other posts recently, so I knew it was just a misfortunate automatic posting.
"This is what happens when the eeevil pharmaceutical companies are forced to pull out."
Or in the case of Sudan, blown up by the Clinton Administration.
absorbent pads are used externally in most of the world. They are not comfortable. They leak, so most women do not move about much on those days.
A really poor country loses a lot when they lose a quarter of its work force for 3 to 5 days a month.
In Asian countries, that I'm familiar with, the females would wear a narrow cotton cloth diapper like item. The items would be washed out and reused.
I'm sure that the same type of item was used here in the US back in the "Good Olde Daze".
Since this is by the Sunday Times, I'm sure much of it was taken out of Kotex.
You don't need one when you are always pregnant.
They used unsanitary disease-spreading cloths.
I'm sure our "feminists" will be quick to protest this ACTUAL horrendous abuse of women, just as soon as they're done decrying pay scales for female college diversity studies professors. First things first.
Peat moss? Any relation to Kate moss?
-Pity About Africa...--
-South Africa - The sellout of a nation--
-Cry, the Beloved Country--
-Robert Mugabe and the Struggle for Power--
-A Capsule History of Southern Africa--
-Rhetoric of blame is now a white lie--
-First it was Rhodesia then SA now America paying the price of silence--
-Parallels between Apartheid SA and USA--
-Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight--