Women Initiative Boosts Girls’ Education
According to Menstrual Hygiene Day, a global advocacy platform for non-profit organizations and government agencies to promote menstrual health, 65 percent of Kenyan women and girls cannot afford sanitary pads.
Another study, conducted by Kenya’s Ministry of Education, found that girls missed an average of four school days per month, equating to two weeks of learning per term, due to the menstrual cycle.
The same is true for girls in Kenya’s tertiary and higher education institutions, where most of them struggle to obtain sanitary pads.
To address this, a group of Kibabii University staff and faculty members known as “KIBU WOMEN” have launched an initiative to assist female students by distributing sanitary pads on a regular basis.
On August 4, 2022, the team presented several cartons of sanitary pads to Dean of Students Dr. Alice Chemutai in order to assist needy female students at the university.
Prof. Stanley Mutsotso, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Affairs), attended the exercise.
“We have a long list of very needy students within the University and we all know it is a human indignity for our girls to lack these basic things,” Prof Mutsotso said.
Prof Mutsotso praised the gesture as admirable and urged people to continue supporting these cases so that “our girls do not drop out due to a lack of sanitary towels.”
The team also stated that they run campaigns to end period stigma by providing education on menstrual hygiene management and that menstruation has long been associated with taboos and myths that exclude women from many aspects of social and cultural life.
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“Period stigma is a discrimination faced by young women and girls who undergo verbal shaming as unclean,” Dr. Chemutai said.
The initiative was able to reach out to many needy girls at the university by providing them with sanitary pads, boosting their self-esteem, and improving their grades.