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Girls’ poor menstrual hygiene linked to poverty  

As the world celebrated the ‘International Day of the Girl Child,’ girls in Baringo grapple with poverty and cannot afford sanitary pads a situation that compromises their hygiene  leading to diminished personal confidence that makes them miss school.

The event was held in Kabarnet National Museum on Tuesday and brought about various stakeholders including civil society groups and girls from neighboring schools who were taught life skills and issued with sanitary pads.

Janet Nandwa, the director Baringo civil society organisation forum (BASCOF) an umbrella of 30 organizations that deals with social injustices and social indignity said the girl child had a bright future but empowerment was important to impart them with life skills, menstrual hygiene management and talent management.

“Girls particularly in Tiaty, Baringo South and Baringo North Sub-Counties have a challenge to contend with early marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) and school dropouts making it necessary to keep girls in school to be tomorrow’s leaders,” Nandwa said.

Speaking at the event Daudi Aengwo, Director, Gender and Social Services noted with concern that poverty was a major impediment to girls’ empowerment and contributed to high rates of gender based violence cases but added that the county government was working round the clock to curb the vice.

“The County Assembly recently passed the gender based violence bill and we are awaiting gazzettment for the implementation to take place and this would go a long way in curbing the vice,” Aengwo said.

Aengwo noted with concern that parents were neglecting their responsibilities by not providing sanitary towels for their daughters and he encouraged parents to be close to them and guide them.

Brenda Wairia, the Assistant County Commissioner urged the girls who were present to concentrate on their studies stressing there was time for everything.

“There is time for everything and right now is the time to concentrate on your studies and avoid any peer pressure for you to have a bright future,” she said.

She however said as the county administration they were aware of the challenges faced by the girl child together with the boy child and the administration was doing it’s best to deal with it.

By Caroline Cherono

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