Kenya to provide sanitary pads for girls in public schools

Posted at 2:20 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 14:20:55-04

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Kenya's government says it will supply sanitary pads to teenage girls enrolled in public schools.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday signed the act into law. Child rights groups say many girls in the East African nation skip at least four days a month because they cannot afford sanitary pads and want to avoid embarrassment.

Nearly half of Kenyans live below the poverty line, earning less than $2 a day. Kenya more than a decade ago repealed the tax on sanitary pads and tampons, earning international praise.

Rights groups say skipping classes places girls at a disadvantage compared to their male counterparts. The groups have estimated that more than one million girls across Kenya would benefit from the provision of sanitary pads.

The issue is a widespread one in sub-Saharan Africa.