The Akufo-Addo government must provide free sanitary pads for girls in senior high schools as part of the Free SHS programme, a youth and family-focused NGO has suggested.

J Initiative said it is making the proposal because studies have shown that 95% of girls shun school during their period due to lack of money to buy sanitary towels, a situation that affects their academic work.

The statement signed by J Initiative’s Executive Director, Awo Aidam Amenyah said: “It is sad to note that the free senior high school programme that seeks to remove cost barriers to education and ensure that no child is left behind has woefully failed to include the provision of sanitary pads into the list of things that the government will be catering for under the programme”.

In the NGO’s view, Ghana can learn from Kenya which provides free sanitary towels to schoolgirls in deprived areas.

“So, in another developing country, provision of these towels has been made obligatory rather than optional.

The statement said the lack of free sanitary towels for schoolgirls can defeat the purpose of the Free SHS.

“This can impact negatively” on the Free SHS programme, the NGO said, explaining: “As poor menstrual hygiene management can result in absenteeism, poor performance, hamper gender parity in education and the overall achievement of the free senior high school programme.”


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