By Ahura Mujuni Mark
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on Wednesday resumed business at its Chambers in Arusha, Tanzania and passed three key Resolutions. The Assembly is sitting for its 1st Meeting of the 2nd Session of the 3rd Assembly.
The Resolutions that saw the light of day included a motion urging Partner States to facilitate girls with sanitary pads and hygienic facilities in schools and another paying tribute to the Rotary International for their humanitarian service around the world in general and at the EAC in particular. A third Resolution urging the EAC Partner States to take concerted action to end the massacre of elephants and trafficking of ivory also sailed through.
In a social responsibility move, EALA passed a Resolution urging the region to waive taxes on sanitary pads in the region aimed at enhancing quality, availability and affordability of the pads.The move is further expected to keep girls in school and to ensure their well-being, enhanced dignity and respect of rights.
The motion moved by Hon Dr. Odette Nyiramilimo notes that poor menstrual hygiene in the EAC 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.
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. It further wants the Partner States 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 lauds the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the government of Kenya for abolishing tax on the sanitary pads.
The motion received overwhelming response with contributions from various Members. Hon Abubakar Zein, Hon AbuBakr Ogle, Hon Nancy Abisai and Hon Dr. Martin Nduwimana. Others were Hon Shy-Rose Bhanji and Hon Mukasa Mbidde.