HOLISTIC & SUSTAINABLE EMPOWERMENT OF SCHOOL GIRLS
It is high time that all people worked towards Ensuring sustainable Holistic Empowerment of school going girls.
Empowerment of school going girls entails equipping them with skills and knowledge so they can develop in all aspects of life. This entails acquisition of academic, social, communication, leadership, health, exposure of the girls during the core curricula and extra curricula activities during their life in school. During the 8 years in primary school or the 4 years in high school, girls will graduate with sharpened skills that enable them to do analytical thinking, have proper personal presentation, engage in communication, and exhibit healthy interpersonal relationships.
However some important but often neglected needs may hinder a girl from attaining all the above. In the recent past, the Kenyan government joined hands with other well wishers to promote accessibility to sanitary towels to school girls since the towels were seen as an education issue as well.Studies have shown that many girls in Kenya miss up to a week of school every month during menstruation due to lack of sanitary towels. Teachers in schools know pretty well that a girl without access to sanitary towels feels embarrassed, excluded, unhygienic and uncomfortable. This limits her self-willed interaction with her classmates, teachers in the classroom or other workers on the school compound.The end result is poor performance for some girls.
Sanitary towels, therefore, are a serious social, education and human issue in Kenya. But the biggest question remains-How can we ensure sustainability of access of this very important commodity to all the school going girls? Can we have many women initiatives around the globe to support; especially the rural girls in our Kenyan communities access these sanitary towels? How I pray that women around the globe with the technology of making the towels could partner with us so that we can ensure access to the sanitary towels by needy girls.We should therefore strive to ensure;
-implementation of government policy to ensure provision of the towels to girls in school
-advocate for more women organizations activities to include making and supply of sanitary pads in schools
-channeling of resources to willing manufacturers to ensure quality and quantity of towels.
It is important to note that the sanitary towels are indeed a health(hygiene), education, social, human and empowerment issue! Access to the towels will make them feel safe-not to be spotted and laughed at by others, to concentrate, to be healthy, to play with confidence, and not to have issues as they interact with others.