Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
Secondary school girls, especially in rural communities can begin to look forward to their monthly menstrual period, even as policy to subsidise the cost of sanitary pads, as well as its free distribution is in the process of taking effect.
The Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Ms. Mary Ekpere, who stated this, yesterday, in commemoration of the 2019 International Day of the Girl and with the theme “Girlsforce: unscripted… Unstoppable” and “empowering girls for a brighter tomorrow” said the centre was in talks with sanitary pad producing companies towards ensuring that the price of pads are subsidised.
She added that corporate organisations were also not left out in the quest towards ensuring that as part of their social responsibility, contributions to the cheap and availability of sanitary pads were achieved and that young girls did not have to suffer as a result of the high cost of the necessity.
Ekpere said even though so much had been achieved, there was still. much to be desired as child marriage still exists, alongside daily occurrences of gender based violence against the girl child with some of the being turned into sex slaves.
She lamented that in as much as girls today were pushing barriers and challenges that hitherto hindered their progress, most were unable to complete their basic education due to insecurity and vulnerability of the family among others.
She said: “We have a menstrual hygiene corner in our programme whereby many of you could just drop N10 or N20 and there’s an arrangement with most of these companies who produce sanitary pads who will now sell at subsidised rates of which we will distribute to rural areas, especially to secondary schools in particular.
“Be that as it may, we are working further to see how the issue of price will be dealt with, but it’s a gradual process and we need to find a way of advocacy to the manufacturers and finding out how to reduce the price. And through advocacy, we encourage as a corporate social organisation from other agencies and private sector to ensure that every organisation will buy a certain quantity of pads available to schools and send to rural areas as their own social corporate responsibility.”