Schoolgirls from Meru county are offering sex to get money for sanitary pads, a mentorship forum has heard.
The Girls Excel Initiative Mentorship Programme which was launched at Kithangari Girls Secondary School in South Imenti by the Patron, Jennifer Riria, saying they had bought sanitary towels for about 1,200 girls.
“I am from this village. We have local women philanthropists who want girls to be independent to grow the economy. I was saddened to learn that some girls exchanged sex for money to buy sanitary pads so that they could remain in school,” Riria said.
Riria observed that many girls had suffered ridicule for failure to buy pads, forcing them to offer themselves for sex in exchange for sanitary towels.
“This puts them at risk of contracting HIV/Aids and getting early pregnancies,” she said, calling on the government to step up distribution of the sanitary pads to all schools including those in remote area.
She encouraged the girls to work hard and study technical subjects, including Maths and Technology.
The mentors said girls in Meru have been chided for fear and refusing to take up sciences, information and technology, engineering and maths (STEM) career courses.
Riria, the Echo Network Africa CEO, said the market was ready for the female gender and urged the girls to take up technical subjects.
“When you take up technical courses you are able to create jobs instead of taking up social sciences courses where you wait to be employed,” she said.
She said despite girls facing menstrual periods, bad attitude and early pregnancies, they can excel. They need a transformation so that they can make it in Maths, engineering and science fields.
She said the mentorship and motivation to study mathematics started in July last year with two straight A’s scored in last year’s KCSE exam.
“I challenge young girls to look for solutions in Maths, innovations and chemistry to trigger their thinking capacity. I was attacked and vigorously fought when starting the KWFT Bank,” Riria said.
Dr. Purity Ngina, a Biomathematics PhD holder said girls must aim at shattering the glass ceiling because jobs were available.
She said the mentorship and motivation to study Maths started in July last year resulting in two straight A’s scored in last year’s KCSE exam.
“Girls shouldn’t take a back seat. It doesn’t matter where you are posted to work. Take the challenge and perform. The market is very ready for both gender,” Ngina said.
She said the World Bank had released a report in 2018 indicating the success of the country lies in technology and science, hence the need for students to study those subjects.
Jane Karoki, a student at the school lauded Echo network Africa CEO for the initiative promising to put their best foot forward.
By Muguongo Judy