Kenyan school girls to get free sanitary pads

Kenyan school girls miss an average of four days of school every month due to lack of sanitary pads.

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This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed 9 Bills into law including the Basic Education Amendment Act mid this week, (21st June 2017).

The Basic Education Amendment Act amends basic education Act places 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.

The Basic Education Amendment Act states;

"Free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels" must be provided to every girl registered at school, as well as providing a safe and environmental sound mechanism for disposal".

The law comes into effect more than a decade after Kenya scrapped taxes on sanitary products in an attempt to make them more affordable.

However despite this, some 65% of women and girls still found them too expensive, according to a 2016 report by non-profit consulting firm FSG.

This forced many school girls to miss an average of four days of school every month, which translates into over a month away from school in a year, meaning most fall behind in class and sometimes even drop out of school altogether.

Some charity organizations and local non-governmental organization like Inua dada and ZanaAfrica Foundation have stepped in and tried to raise awareness on the impact of lack of sanitary pads and achieve some level of success but a lot remains to be done

With the signing of the law, it is now hoped the move will improve access to education and general class attendance of the girl child which will have a positive impact in their examination results.

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