Talking about periods should be as normal as having them



Recent studies have revealed that about 7 million South African young women have to stay at home up to five days a month during their menstrual cycle as they cannot afford sanitary pads. This is one of the biggest issues that young women globally face.

This prevents women to from attending school or work for up to five days every month. South African women are facing period poverty as a result of a lack of access sanitary products and hygienically clean facilities to manage menstruation. Menstrual cycles are not a choice; therefore, sanitary kits, pads and tampons should not be considered a luxury.

Did you know that the average cost of a pack of 10 sanitary pads are priced at R18 (which calculates to about R36 per period cycle. This excludes the other products that form part of the sanitary kit. The average cost of the complete sanitary kit is in the range of R100 per month. Having a period is an expense that many cannot afford as most South Africans live below the poverty line. Women have to use alternative means of managing their periods and often do so by using old clothes, newspaper or sit on cardboards all day. Women’s lack of access to sanitary kits have led to unhygienic methods and can cause other health problems, infections, sterility and often death simply because pads and tampons are not supplied as a basic right or a public health emergency.

In addition a large number of women suffer with chronic diseases such as endometriosis, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods caused by uterine contractions) and pelvic inflammatory disease which often need to be treated with medication. Yet another costly exercise that most cannot afford. Lack of access to toilets with running water further aggravates the channege.

At Sizanani Charity we believe that in order to end stereotypes and educate ourselves, we need to normalize engaging in the tough conversations.  We are inviting the public to join the #DIGNIFYME movement in support of debunking stereotypical assumptions about menstruation among women by normalizing educational conversations and to fight for necessary essentials such as sanitary kits, tampons and pads to be free of charge.


The #DIGNIFYME campaign which is being coordinated by Asamkele Menzeleli who aim to firstly restore dignity to girls and women who are in of support monthly supplies of sanitary kits which will consist of: sanitary pads, reusable sanitary pads, wet wipes, tampons and tissue rolls. While reducing period poverty in South Africa that has impacted most of our women, it is time that we give our women their dignity back. This task whilst mammoth can be achived. may seem unsurmountable. I am remined of a saying by Creighton Williams Abrams Jr. a United States Army general who commanded military in the Vietnam War.

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”

For more information on how you can get involved, please contact Asamkele Menzeleli: 010-030-0080 or email her at: support@sizananicharity.org.za

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