In Kenya, about 65 percent of women and girls are unable to afford sanitary napkins. “One package of sanitary napkins costs the equivalent of the daily wage of an unskilled worker, and most women need two packets per cycle.”
Unfortunately, in many third world countries including Kenya the discussion of menstruation, is a taboo topic that should never be talked about. Due to this, Kenyan girls already struggle with having to go to school while they’re on their cycle. Now on top of this, if girls do not have access to proper sanitary napkins they end up using pieces of cloth which increase the risk of leakage which can cause further embarrassment. Evidence also shows that “menstruation increases absence from school, causing Kenyan girls to miss approximately 3.5 million learning days per month.”
Now finally the time has come, and Kenya has promised free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls which they hope will encourage girls to go to school.
According to the new law, the government is “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”
Further, the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta also signed a bill which also obliges the government to provide all schoolgirls with a safe place to dispose the napkins that they have used.
Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe states “We are treating the access to sanitary pads as a basic human right,” and they hope that this new policy will increase the sanitation and healthcare of the schoolgirls which they hope will increase class attendance.