A group of well-wishers and Girl-Child activists Friday gifted sanitary pads to over 1000 girls from primary and Secondary schools at Getarwet village in Bureti Sub-County in Kericho County.
This as Kericho County joined the world in commemorating World Menstrual and Hygiene day which rallies in raising awareness about menstrual health across the world. This year’s theme is ‘Action and Investment in Menstrual Hygiene and Health.
The distribution of sanitary pads in various schools in villages around the County was led by the Kericho County Gender Officer, Beatrice Rotich, who said the day was significant not only in distribution of the dignity packs but also in raising awareness of the issues that girls in the village grapple with during their menstrual period.
“Some girls in the villages even fail to go to school for the entire week due to lack of sanitary pads so it’s a challenge and we have a responsibility as a society to address that issue,” said Rotich.
Rotich further noted that the subject of menstruation is still something that is considered as a taboo and shameful and the society needs to help break the silence, raise awareness, eradicate poverty, and change negative social norms surrounding menstrual hygiene so that women and girls feel empowered to manage their periods hygienically with confidence.
At the same time, she called upon women in Kericho not to accept to go back to Female Genital Mutilation.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed menstrual inequities which continue to deepen across the globe putting girls and women at a disadvantage. Many have been cut off from essential sexual and reproductive health services and social networks,” said Rotich
The County Gender Officer was accompanied by Founder of Linda Msichana Foundation, Linda Salbei, who was optimistic that the girl child in the village will be well taken care of especially now that many organizations have started innovation of reusable sanitary pads.
“The reusable sanitary pads are very efficient for the girls in the villages who might not be able to afford the sanitary pads and that will also enable her to stay in school even during her periods.” said Saibei.
Kenya Red-Cross representatives, Kericho Rotary club and Girl child activists from University of Kabianga also took part in the girl child empowerment event and distribution of sanitary pads to schools in the villages around Kericho County.
They all echoed one message which is; a world without period poverty and stigma is possible. But they noted that to achieve that goal by the year 2030 action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene should be expedited.
By Kibe Mburu