Mashaba lambasted for suggesting pads would lead children to 'focus on sex'
JOHANNESBURG - Gender experts have weighed in on Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s latest Twitter gaffe, warning his comments on sanitary towels are not only false and misleading but also dangerous.
Earlier on Friday, the mayor suggested that handing out sanitary towels to children would lead to a focus on sex.
He was then asked on Twitter what sanitary pads have to do with sex to which he replied, “a lot”.
Mashaba’s initial comment was in response to an image of African National Congress NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane handing out sanitary pads at a school, while on the campaign trail in KwaZulu-Natal.
Are these fake news? These children deserve books and toys pic.twitter.com/K0pyr9sHeq— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 11, 2019
Mashaba is facing a staunch backlash for suggesting that handing out sanitary towels to young girls in school, encourages them to focus on sex.
Mashaba tweeted that doing so amounted to deliberately destroying the future of the youth.
Gender Links’ Sifisosami Dube says this is a lie: “There’s no relation between sanitary pads and sex. Sanitary pads are used for protection.”
Sexual reproductive health expert Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng says Mashaba's tweets are dangerous.
“The utterances of Mr Mashaba are damaging because he won’t spend time undoing that as he thinks he’s correct. ”
Mashaba has attempted to clarify his comments by saying he has a problem with sanitary towels being given to grade R pupils.
Simply, access to health care, particularly for women & young girls, is very important. However, for Grade R learners, just providing sanitary pads is a misguided intervention.— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 11, 2019
Our focus within that age group should be on education & ensuring access to health care is adequate.
Lakelani! Mamelani! Reetsang! Listen!We were at a school called Mandosi. It's a combined school.The sanitary towels are for deserving girls! The Vodacom goodies are for GradeR and lower primary kiddies. Go on armchair critics and passionate haters of Nomvula. Ikhonkotha ehambayo! pic.twitter.com/SeITzBZXAv— Nomvula Mokonyane (@MamaAction_RSA) January 9, 2019
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)