The Kenyan government will start providing free sanitary towels to all school going girls. Although the sanitary towels play a very big role in a girl’s life, they are sometimes never a priority for girls from the poor families.This becomes a challenge, and especially for the school going girls who ends up losing several days, self esteem and confidence.
Poor Kenyan girls loses about 15 schooldays every term
On average, Kenyan girls from poor families miss five school days every month which means in one term they would be about 15 school days. This would as well increase the possibility of them dropping out of school. But if girls were to be provided with sanitary materials, their life would greatly change in terms of hygiene, education, and health as well as in terms of empowerment.
It is for these reasons that the Kenyan government passed a new law that would minimize girl’s absenteeism from school and would help to put them at par with their male counterparts. According to The Basic Education Amendment Act, the Kenya government will provide schoolgirls with free, sufficient as well as quality sanitary materials. By doing this, the government would ensure a reduction in the number of girls that are missing school due to their menstrual cycle.
Free Sanitary towels law in Kenya
Already, Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the Bill into law. This new law compels the government to not only provide the sanitary materials but also to ensure that it provides a safe mechanism for disposing of the sanitary pads.
The new law would certainly ensure that girls are able to continue their education with any interruptions.
Tax exemption on Sanitary towel raw materials in Kenya
In the past, before concession, Kenya government scrapped taxes that it was receiving from sanitary materials. Other than that, the government also reduced the tax for raw materials for making the sanitary towels and products. Currently, the raw materials attract zero excise duty, and are exempt from VAT. This move, however, gave an upper hand to non-resident manufacturers and became an expense to local producers.
Even after a reduction in tax, there some women and girls who finds the sanitary pads expensive and beyond their reach. Cries of such women and girls are what made women parliamentarians to put much pressure to the government. The Kenyan women parliamentarians conducted a campaign that left their male counterparts speechless since matters like those are rarely spoken in public.
For the first time in Kenya, the ministry of finance has allocated about KSh 400 million to the national budget to cater for the free sanitary towels for the schoolgirls. This move by the government does not only give sanitary pads to schoolgirls, but it also helps in training other girls and women in local communities and provides them with necessary tools to support them.
Kenyan government to provide support to girls and women
The government will partner with non-profit organizations with the aim of training and supporting both the girls and women. Future generations are anticipated to be much better since educated girls will pass the knowledge to the younger ones..