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Girls missing school five days a month, as inflation doubles prices of sanitary pads

Girls missing school five days a month, as inflation doubles prices of sanitary pads
February 27
09:31 2017

Chaste Inegbedion is resolute and determined. He is passionate and has got the drive to push his ideas to fruition, and he is willing to go all out with his pad man initiative.

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The initiative is aimed at increasing awareness on the challenges school girls face regarding hygiene during their monthly periods and the provision of free sanitary pads to these girls.

In his interactions with TheCable, he had a sense of urgency — clearly showing that the girls have been disadvantaged for too long, and need the sanitary pads right now.

“It was a call to action that had to be risen to and immediately”.

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He told the story of a certain Mary, a 13-year-old girl who had been skipping class for five days every month because she could not afford to buy sanitary pads.

“Mary is one of the thousands of underprivileged teenagers forced out of school following the recent hike on sanitary pads in Nigeria,” he explained.

Inegbedion wants to ensure Mary and numerous other school girls get uninterrupted education because they can go to school even when they are on their periods.

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If Mary and other school girls found it hard to access sanitary pads in the past, it worsened in the past year with Nigeria slipping into the worst recession in over 20 years and inflation reaching an 11-year high of nearly 19 per cent.

The prices of sanitary pads have increased by over 100 percent with some brands selling at about N400 from N150.

Given this amount, some girls, especially those living in urban, but poor communities, simply cannot afford sanitary towels, month after month, the girls miss out on crucial learning for at least three days and sometimes five days.

Inegbedion, through his PADMAN initiative, hopes to donate as many pads to school in Lagos and maybe expand to other states as the project gains traction.

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With support from Hope Inspired Foundation for Women and Youth, the Clean Girls project and other public spirited individuals and institutions, Inegbedion made an initial visit to Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired and Pacelli School for the Blind, Lagos to distribute sanitary pads to the girls.

He has a minimum mark of 3,000 pads to be distributed to school girls who cannot afford sanitary pads but the hope is that more sanitary towels can be distributed through a sustained means so it in not a one off event.

“I am hoping we can eventually make reusable sanitary towels, I know it is already being done in Malawi,” Chaste tells TheCable.

He is keen on ending the gender inequality that comes with girls missing schools because they cannot afford sanitary towels.

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“I am hoping that people will buy into it… I need your support,” he says, as he tried to recruit more people into his campaign to get school girls sanitary towels.

Mary and other school girls deserve to go to school uninterrupted. Girls should have easy access to sanitary towels and situations like access to water schools.

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