The Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection ( CEE-HOPE), an NGO on Sunday urged government to enact a policy on free distribution of sanitary pads to school girls.
Mrs Betty Abah, the Founder of CEE-PEE made the call at a programme organised by the body, in collaboration with ‘Yellow Rose’ to commemorate the 2020 International Day of the Girl in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl is: “My voice, our equal future.”
Abah said that ‘period poverty’ was one of the major challenges affecting girls and women in the country.
“We decided to bring girls from different parts of Lagos and Ogun State, to come together and talk about issues affecting them and also to encourage and motivate them.
“Girls from the communities where we target usually experience period poverty because they can’t afford sanitary pads for menstruation.
“That is why today, we have decided to give these girls school bags, exercise books, sandals, rechargeable lantern and most especially, sanitary pads that will last them for six months with the support of Yellow Rose.
“30 girls in Lagos and Ogun states respectively benefitted from this, while 30 in Ebonyi and Benue were also given this packages today by our state coordinator.
“Ironically, millions of girls and women in this country experience period poverty because they can’t afford sanitary pads.
“We need the government to do the needful by either removing tax on sanitary pads to make it affordable, or commence the distribution of pads in secondary schools for girls,” she said.
According to her, countries like Uganda and Kenya usually distributed free sanitary pads to their girls in schools.
“It is very bad that girls in some African countries that are not up to Nigeria can afford to distribute free pads to their school girls and our girls don’t enjoy that privilege here in Nigeria.
“The emergence of COVID-19 has further made this difficult for millions of girls in internally displaced areas, women in prison and girls whose parent’s are under-privileged.
“So, the government needs to rise up to the occasion and save our girls and a lot of them don’t talk about it because of the stigma around menstrual hygiene management,” she said.
NAN reports that a 15minutes documentary titled” Give us this Day our Monthly Pads” was aired during the programme. (NAN)