President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law The Basic Education Amendment Act, which will see free sanitary towels provided for all girls who have reached puberty enrolled in Kenya’s public schools.
The Act, which further states that the Government should provide a safe and environmentally sound mechanism for disposal of sanitary towels, aims to reduce the number of girls who miss days of school due to menstruation.
Girls losing learning time over menstrual health inadequacies
According to data from the Ministry of Education, a girl absent from school for four days in 28 days (month) loses 13 learning days equivalent to two weeks of learning in every school term. In an academic year (nine months) a girl loses 39 learning days equivalent to six weeks of learning time.
Women’s rights groups say skipping classes places girls at a disadvantage compared to their male counterparts. They estimate that more than one million girls across Kenya would benefit from the provision of sanitary pads.
The Basic Education Amendment Act was among nine Bills signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday.