Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday signed a law allowing schoolgirls free access to sanitary towels aiming at minimising absenteeism.
The law compels the government to provide a safe and environmentally sound mechanism for disposal of the sanitary towels.
“The Basic Education Amendment Act amends Basic Education Act, placing the responsibility of providing free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels to every girl child registered and enrolled in a public basic education institution and has reached puberty, on the government,” it states. This according to the Business Daily.
According to the country’s Ministry of Education, a girl absent from school for four days in 28 days (month) loses 13 learning days equivalent to two weeks of learning in every school term. In an academic year (nine months) a girl loses 39 learning days equivalent to six weeks of learning time.
In Kenya nearly one million girls in do not go to school because they lack access to sanitary pads and corresponding reproductive health education, this according to ZanaAfrica.
According to a UNESCO report estimates that one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle.