The government of Kenya has decided to provide its school girls with free pads as a means to improve access to education when many cannot afford sanitary products like pads and tampons. 

UN education Agency notes that one out of every 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their period. A total of these absences make girls miss up to 20% of their education which leads them either drop studies or perform poorly in school.

The decision was signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta early this week. It provides free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels to be provided to all registered females.

This act comes almost a decade after the Kenyan government cleared taxes on sanitary products, a way to make these products affordable. FSG published in its findings that despite this, over 65% of Kenyan females still find these pads expensive to afford.

A teenager admits on BBC that she “wrapped a sock around her underwear just to get through the school day”.

The move to legislate the provision of towels to the school girls has been received with open arms in the Kenyan Society. BBC’s Nairobi reporter, Anne Soy reports that new legal provision requires the government to provide the towels to every school girl who has reached puberty: it now becomes an obligation rather than an option. All these would add to safe environmental sound mechanism for waste disposal.

The health issue in girl’s education is not just a Kenyan Problem but one affecting other African and Asian countries which need to be addressed properly.

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