New Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa says he has no issues being labelled ‘padman’ after doctored images were published of him holding a sanitary napkin in his hand.
Premadasa tweeted saying that more than half of adolescent girls in Sri Lanka miss school when on their period according to UNICEF impacting girls’ education.
He said that a United National Front Government reduced the 100% levy on sanitary products to 63% but thousands of women still suffer stigma and put themselves at risk every month.
“I will not shy away from this conversation. If we are serious about women’s empowerment, this is a basic place to begin. Until sustainable cost effective alternatives are found, I stand by my promise to provide sanitary hygiene products free of charge,” he said.
Premadasa said that he remains committed to women’s rights and will wear the ‘padman’ label proudly.
“In my view, it is certainly preferable to being the #manwiththevan,” he tweeted.
His opponent at the Presidential election, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has been accused of being involved in abducting people using white vans when he was the Defence Secretary.