mercredi, 23 octobre 2019

Kenya : The menstruation message

The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet many complications and challenges accompany such an event. While adolescence is the time when girls should begin transiting into adults and shift from dependency to interdependency within their society, almost two out of three know nothing about menstruation until they start their menses, usually a traumatic experience. One in 10 adolescent girls miss school and eventually drop out due to menstruation-related issues.

Figures from Kenya’s Ministry of Education show that a girl in primary school loses 18 learning weeks out of 108 weeks in a year during her menses. Within 4 years of high school the same girl losses 156 learning days equivalent to almost 24 weeks of learning.

Overall, studies estimate that 61 per cent of girls miss school annually due to lack of menstruation hygiene facilities in their primary schools, and approximately 3.5 million learning days are lost every month due to menstruation.

Lack of access to sanitary protection and towels disempowers girls, as they have to stay at home to avoid staining their clothes with blood in public. The cost of sanitary ware and towels is beyond the reach of many young women and girls, with most ending up missing school altogether during their menses. Poverty underpins many girls’ lack of access to disposable sanitary towels. These cost between 65 and 120 Kenyan Shillings (US0.79-1.45) and are unaffordable to families earning the average Kenyan daily income of just above US$1 per day.

This as a violation of basic human rights when girls stay away from school because they fear the shame attributed to their menstruation or because they don’t have the means to maintain a healthy hygiene. Girls must no longer continue using old rags, towels, paper from their school books or even dirt or leaves to manage their bleeding.

Source from

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