Skin-whitening creams are being removed from shelves in Rwanda as the government enforces a ban on the products and on the surface personally, I think this is an excellent move and an important one to assert that NO ONE should be ashamed of how dark they are. This is an excellent and important political move.
However, sales in African countries of skin whitening products are worth billions every year and there are genuine fears that Rwandans won’t give up their bleaching that easily! In the case of not being able to buy them from stores, they may turn to unregulated products which could put their health at risk and home remedies made from even more dangerous chemicals.
It is clear that a lot of work is needed to facilitate a cultural shift and growth away from the myths that lighter skin is better.
Al Jazeera’s Laura Burdon-Manley reports more in the video below