Keeping Girls in Class
For many of us growing up, sanitary towels was a basic need especially if you were in a boarding school. It came as a surprise when we visited a school to do our quarterly community service to schools.
Growing up, girls started their menses at 14years -class 8 going onto form one. It came as a shock to learn that girls in this particular school had started their periods as early as 10 years. In total, there are 325 girls between the ages of 10 -14yrs who are already in their menses. These girls come from very poor backgrounds and they are benefitting from free primary education offered by the government. Uniforms and books is still a big hurdle for the parents.That means sanitary towels to them are a pure luxury to these girls.
Some things that we take for granted like sanitary pads could determine the future of girls and women in some communities of the developing countries
Dreams of girls from under privileged families are shelved due to challenges related to monthly periods and early pregnancy.
Did you know that HIV infection rates in girls are 4 times that of boys the same age mainly because girls from under privileged families engage in sex at an early age as a way of earning a living?
The Government of Kenya has proposed a Ksh2.6B sanitary towels project to be donated to girls in rural areas and marginalized areas. This is proposed to come into effect in the 2012 -2013 budget. With the elections around the corner, this in my opinion will be implemented in 2014.
If however it is implemented in 2013, the depth of impunity in this country will see ‘ghost schools’ getting sanitary towels and the real schools not getting anything.
What do we do till then? Do we wait for the Government to be free of corruption? Will we wait for donations year in, year out? What is the long term solution for this?