Girls enrolled into public schools in Kenya will now receive free sanitary products after the government recently passed the law.
Child rights groups showed that on average, teenage girls skipped school four days a month to avoid embarrassment as a result of not being able to afford sanitary products. President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the act after acknowledging that this places female students at a disadvantage compared to their male counterparts, and the government is receiving international praise as a result.
The bill states:
'The Basic Education Amendment Act amends the 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.'
Nearly a decade ago, the Kenyan government repealed the tax on sanitary products such as towels and tampons, but with more than half of the population living below the poverty line, many can't afford to provide their female family members with these essentials. This proves detrimental, with girls potentially missing over six weeks of school to avoid awkwardness when it comes to the week of their period.
This incredible new initiative is estimated to benefit over a million young girls across Kenya, helping to enrich their education (and their futures) by boosting their attendance. So many women in impoverished countries lack this kind of access to sanitary products, with even the richest of countries consider such necessities as luxuries, and until things change, the fight continues.