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Sanitary pads should be free just like condoms because it is a necessity

Sanitary pads should be free just like condoms because it is a necessity

A project to educate and create awareness among hundreds of secondary school girls and boys on Menstrual Hygiene Management and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, ‘My Period is Awesome’ was launched this week.

The project was launched by Women’s Action for Development (WAD) and the Wise Economy Global Association, through Forum Syd in Sweden. A total of N$1 million was donated to the project, to reach and educate 600 girls and 100 boys in the first phase and then to extend the initiative in phases.

Presenters at the launch emphasised that both the girl child and the boy child should be included in the discussions on menstrual health, since it is generally agreed that a change in attitude  can only be achieved where both genders accept responsibility for reproductive health.

There was also universal agreement that menstrual hygiene and reproductive health are still taboo subject, widely stigmatized through ignorance and bashfullness.  “People are ashamed to speak about it, which makes it difficult for the topic to be de-stigmatized and to be normalised like it should be.”

“Education should start at home with both the mother and father talking openly about these topics. It is only later that lawmakers and policy-makers enter the educational picture for these sensitive topics.”

At the launch it was also suggested that sanitary products should be made tax free or even be free of charge, just like condoms are free, because they are a necessity.

According to WAD, many poor school girls miss several days of school each month, or drop out of school altogether, due to insufficient sanitary solutions.

“Therefore a unique aspect of the project is that it introduces a more durable and more cost effective alternative to menstruating school girls, in form of the menstrual cup, which has numerous other advantages for school girls, pending the approval of the Ministry of Health and Social Services,” the NGO added.

Speakers at the launch included Juliet Kavetuna, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Sanet Steenkamp, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Veronica De Klerk, retired WAD Executive Director, Carin Lann, Director of Wise Economy Global Association, Sweden, Her Excellency, Ambassador Cecilia Julin, Swedish Ambassador.

Meanwhile, Sue Barnes, Managing Director of Project Dignity, South Africa and Thulani Velebayi, Regional Senior Trainer: Child Rights and Positive Parenting at Sonke Gender Justice South Africa, will be responsible for training educators on the project and how to talk to learners about the subjects.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.