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Dealing with absenteeism during menstruation; sanitary pad bank to aid girls in Obuasi

The Obuasi Municipal Education Directorate has been recording high absenteeism among girls during the period of menstruation.

The number continues to surge due to the rise in cost of sanitary pads.

Municipal Education Director, George Alfred Koomson, says the challenge puts girls in a disadvantageous position.

“Some girls when they menstruate because they don’t have the pads, they take excuses to go home. Others feel shy and they are not able to say it so they soil themselves in school”, he said.

In Ghana, sanitary pads are subject to twenty luxury taxes and 12.5% in Value Added Tax.

Dealing with absenteeism during menstruation; sanitary pad bank to aid girls in Obuasi

This has contributed to hike in prices of these sanitary pads, making it inaccessible for girls from poor homes.

For this reason, most female students in their menses are forced to absent themselves from school, negatively affecting their studies.

To deal with the challenge, the Rotary Club of Obuasi has established a pad bank.

This is in partnership with other Non-Governmental Organizations, including the Self-Love Foundation, Girls Shall Grow and Gold City Mummies.

A member of the Rotary Club, Delphine Gborglorvor, believes establishing a pad bank where philanthropists can regularly donate will ensure sustainable supply of sanitary pads.

“The pad bank initiative is targeted at girls from poor homes who ordinarily can’t afford these pads. The Girl Child Coordinators in GES will identify these needy girls and withdraw pads from the banks when needed,” she said.

The Executive Director of Girls Shall Grow, Louisa Amoah, called on the government to intervene in making sanitary pads accessible to girls, especially those from deprived communities.

She said it was unacceptable to have girls skip school during menstruation.

“Government has a role to play in ensuring sanitary pads are accessible to girls. The prices however around Gh20 to Gh25 per pack making it difficult for some girls to afford.

Government should reduce the various taxes of sanitary materials to make it cheaper on the market”, she emphasised.

Source: Ghana News

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