In 2015, an online debate erupted as a result of a tweet by a feminist and filmmaker in England who goes by the name @ molssimp. When she tweeted:
“If you can afford to give boys free condoms, you can afford to give girls free tampons. Menstruation is a lot harder to refrain from than sex.”
This is one of the questions that women have had to ask;Why is there still a tax on women’s sanitary products? Menstruation is an integral and normal part of every girl’s existence, around 3000 days of menstruation occurs in an average woman’s lifetime. Globally, approximately 52% of the female population (26% of the total population) is of reproductive age. Most of these women and girls will menstruate each month for between two and seven days.(WHO)
During menstruation,girls in rural areas are forced to absent themselves from school because they lack access to a clean and affordable sanitary pad.
I was privileged to spend time with girls in Abokobi Presby a rural area in Accra and I was teary when they told me about how they miss 1-3 days of school per month which translate into a loss of 8-24 school days per year because of the rag they use.
Some girls in other rural areas are forced to drop out from school because they are not able to catch up upon returning. They end up becoming a burden to society and further impoverishing the country.
Why is this happening in Nkrumah’s Ghana?
In our schools,girls are not provided with sanitary pads and they don’t have the facilities for menstrual hygiene management.
The results of the study in Uganda by The Netherlands Development Organization (SNV)/IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, reflect that one key means of keeping girls in primary school is the provision of better menstrual management materials and facilities.
The issue is not about just providing girls with sanitary pads, but is about providing girls with sustainable sanitary pads.
This is a sanitary pad called “Day for girls”.The price of one is gh5 and it can last for 2years.
I met Samuel a young man who is passionate about menstrual hygiene management, he is the C.E.O of Needbe foundation and he introduced to me “Day for Girls”. I was very happy because at last I found a sustainable and affordable solution to my biggest worry; “Girl Child Absenteeism”.
Together lets support menstrual hygiene management.
Anticipate my next post I will tell the untold stories.