About 1.2 million adolescent girls skip classes for a period of up to two years to fight the menstrual cycle at home due to lack of access to sanitary towels triggered by their vulnerable backgrounds.
This is according to the UNICEF report of the year 2020 which indicated that more than one million adolescent school going girls are forced to stay at home during their menstruation days.
Speaking to journalists in Kapsabet town, during the official launch of Kenya Women Teachers Association (KEWOTA), Benta Obande the KEWOTA CEO cited that lack of sanitary towels has negatively impacted the girl child education and academic performance due to their vulnerable backgrounds as majority are not able to purchase the items.
Obande appealed to the government to exempt taxes from the sanitary towels in a bid to help the girls afford buying citing that the recently imposed 16% taxes on overall consumption has made life miserable to many Kenyans and adolescent girls who are unable to acquire the pads thus forcing them miss classes due to periods.
Obande revealed that KEWOTA, the women’s association is advocating for good girl child welfare in learning environment revealing that school drop outs has been advocated by the menstrual cycle.
“Many school girls miss classes during their menstrual cycle as majority of parents can’t afford the sanitary towel,” said Obande
The CEO added that it is their appeal as female teachers that the personal effects should be directly provided to all girls.
She said that 40% of the girls hail from the humble family backgrounds that leave below the poverty line therefore it becomes more challenging in accessing the hygienic facilities forcing them to drop out of schools for fear of stigmatization.