Editorial: The Saudis lifted women’s travel ban, where are the sanitary pads?

Social media is one place that really tells one the extent of diversity in ideas, beliefs; a place where one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

It is a “fake news” and gossip paradise where misinformation spreads like wildfire, where one’s reputation can be lost at the click of a button.

But despite all the negative things associated with social media, it is a goldmine of ideas; it is like feeling one’s pulse. Right now it is all about women’s rights, and that subject is on fire.

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced that females over the age of 21 could travel abroad unaccompanied by a male relative. That groundbreaking decision closely follows one that allowed females to drive, and coming from such a male dominated and conservative society, it is a great step forward.

One European city, Barcelona, also gave women a controversial gender-based victory when it allowed them to swim topless in public pools. But in contrast, the Kenyan parliament threw out a female MP for breastfeeding in parliament. It is all about cultural diversity and perceptions.

Returning back home, the trending issue is availing sanitary pads in public toilets. It closely followed a recent one where calls were made to make access to pads a human right, easily accessible.

Just as one does not take their own toilet paper in public toilets, why can’t there be sanitary pad dispensers when some toilets even have condom dispensers?

It is a valid argument that authorities really need to examine so that public amenities are required to make sanitary pads available in female toilets, even if they have to install coin-operated dispensers to share the cost with their clients.

But the bottom line is that sanitary pads should be a woman’s right.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com