Girls’ education has been affected by lack of information and services for healthy sexuality and reproduction. In particular, lack of sanitary towels is a huge problem
According to UNICEF 2007 report, a girl in primary school between class 6 and 8 loses about 18 weeks out of 108 school weeks. A girl in high school (4 years) loses 156 learning days which is equivalent to almost 24 weeks out of 144 weeks of school. Because of poverty most use pieces of dirty rugs, cotton wool, leaves and paper some even wash and recycle depending on their locations (rural/ urban). These practices expose them to diseases and discomfort
Today in Kenya menstruation is not only a health concern, but also an educational policy concern – and has become a key factor in the country’s bid to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015. Menstruation is a barrier to the educational rights of adolescent girls in Kenyan informal settlements
It is important to protect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescent girls by keeping them in school and one major problem is availability and affordability of the Sanitary pads especially in the urban slums and rural areas.
My Students should not miss school – Teacher Wanjiru
Teacher Wanjiru doesn’t want to see her students missing school for lack of sanitary pads. Caroline Wanjiku Tharau, popularly known as Teacher Wanjiru of the popular Churchil live Tv show, surprised Ghetto radio when she called and offered to join Ghetto radio on the campaign to aid the girl child education by creating awareness on sexuality and reproduction and by collecting sanitary pads or funds to purchase the pads for the girls
‘I want to help by joining you at Utaa this Saturday…I’m ready to even go on air and state that I’ve offered myself’ – Teacher Wanjiru
With a massive 30 stage plays experience and never thought she would be a comedian, she will be live at Utaa gardens this Saturday, 5th October 2013 in support of the ‘Party na Purpose’ initiative to collect sanitary pads for the girl child along Ghetto Radio all stars Djs and presenters. For the record, she has never been a teacher!
The marginalized Girl Child situation
Lack of information and services for healthy sexuality and reproduction in particular, lack of sanitary towels is a huge problem amongst marginalized girls in Kenya. Statistics prove that it is still a scarce commodity and not accessible to about 3,000,000 girls owing to poverty and awareness about it. Collectively 65% of women and girls in Kenya cannot afford sanitary pads. The period around puberty especially early teenage (13-17) is one in which many girls drop out of school or are absent from school for significant periods of time.
Over 850,000 girls miss 6 weeks of school every year
Tradition and poverty could be the worst if a case from West Pokot, North West part of Kenya is what to go by. Recently on a local television a West Pokot girl was reduced to using bird feathers during menstruation. Another could use soil wrapped on animal skin. This is a sad situation where poverty offers a traditional solution. The harsh reality is that girls need it and many cannot afford it!