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Gender Department donates sanitary towels to JSS girls

The State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action has launched an ambitious initiative to provide sanitary towels to primary and junior secondary school-going girls in Kisii County.

Launched at Gucha Sub-county DCC’s boardroom, the initiative seeks to address a pressing need often overlooked in all communities: menstrual hygiene management.

Speaking during the donation exercise, Lelei Kipkemoi, the Director of Gender for Kisii County, underscored the pivotal role of the move in promoting menstrual hygiene and safeguarding the dignity of the girl child.

Mr. Kipkemoi said the lack of access to adequate menstrual hygiene products unequally affects young girls, particularly those hailing from financially vulnerable backgrounds.

He lamented the alarming statistics of school absenteeism and dropout rates among this demographic, citing the inability to afford sanitary towels as a significant contributing factor.

“The initiative is aimed at promoting menstrual hygiene for the girl child,” affirmed Kipkemoi.

“Young girls, especially those facing economic hardships, endure the indignity of missing school or even dropping out altogether due to the unavailability of sanitary towels,” he added.

The repercussions of inadequate menstrual hygiene towels extend far beyond the classroom, permeating every facet of a young girl’s life. Denied the means to manage their menstrual cycles with dignity, many girls grapple with feelings of shame, embarrassment, and social isolation. The consequences are dire, perpetuating cycles of poverty and inequality that hinder the realisation of their full potential.

To address this pressing issue, the State Department of Gender and Affirmative Action has mobilised considerable resources, culminating in the donation of 583,264 sanitary towels to Kisii County.

This substantial allocation is poised to benefit 72,908 girls enrolled in primary and junior secondary schools up to grade 8 across 704 selected schools.

Gucha Subcounty has received a generous allotment of 39,088 sanitary towels, destined to empower 4,886 young girls in 41 chosen schools within the sub county’s jurisdiction.

The distribution of sanitary towels will occur once schools reopen for the second term of the academic calendar. This strategic timing ensures that girls have access to the necessary resources to manage their menstrual hygiene effectively, thus reducing the risk of absenteeism and dropout rates.

Local leaders and community members alike have lauded the initiative, recognising its profound impact on the lives of vulnerable young girls.

They commended the State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action for its unwavering commitment to fostering a more equitable society, one where every child, regardless of gender or socioeconomic status, has the opportunity to thrive.

“This undertaking symbolises a beacon of hope and empowerment for young girls. With each sanitary towel distributed, a seed of change is sown, promising a brighter, more inclusive future for generations to come.

And as the echoes of gratitude spread throughout the community, one thing became abundantly clear: When we invest in the empowerment of young girls, we invest in the promise of a better tomorrow.”

By Misheba Alfred

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