SELL LIKE MASKS

Sanitary towels should be sold as cheaply as masks

Girls were getting free sanitary towels from government but schools were closed to stem Covid-19

In Summary

• Multiple studies have found that girls in low-income settings miss out on or struggle at school during menstruation as they cannot access sanitary products. 

• Lack of access to menstrual hygiene products can often mean that women and girls have to be almost entirely restricted to the home. 

Pupils of Enkare Ngiro Primary in Narok county during a visit by the staff of Narok Tannery and Leather Factory. Girls got free sanitary towels.
MENSTRUAL HEALTH: Pupils of Enkare Ngiro Primary in Narok county during a visit by the staff of Narok Tannery and Leather Factory. Girls got free sanitary towels.
Image: KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

It has become difficult for girls to manage their menstrual health with dignity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A recent study in Nairobi’s low-income areas indicates that girls and women continue to face practical and psychological challenges during menstruation.

Access to menstrual hygiene products is a major challenge facing women and girls in developing countries. Lack of access to menstrual hygiene products can often mean that women and girls have to be almost entirely restricted to the home, both due to practical reasons and the stigma frequently attached.

Multiple studies have found that girls in low-income settings miss out on or struggle at school during menstruation as they cannot access sanitary products. Many of the girls who were getting free and quality sanitary towels in school have no access after institutions of learning were closed due to the pandemic.

Sexual and reproductive health needs of girls should not be overlooked. A project was funded by the government in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-Kenya to provide girls with sanitary towels, but they are not enough for all girls. A research by Menstrual Hygiene Day, a global advocacy platform for non-profit organisations and government agencies to promote menstrual health, shows that 65 per cent of women and girls in Kenya are unable to afford sanitary pads.

The UN Population Fund has called for special attention to menstrual health items since supply chains have been disrupted by the pandemic. Some girls are forced to turn to prostitution or manual labour in exchange for cash.

The government should reduce the price of the sanitary pads to the level of face masks. 

 

Mombasa