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Education ministry to roll out sanitary pads for school girls

School girls and boys received dignitary kits at Seventh Day Adventist Primary and secondary school.

By John Agok

The National Ministry of General Education and Instruction to bankroll mass production of sanitary pads in a bid to keep girls in school following high drop outs.

 Ester Achire, the Director General for Gender Equity and Social Change in the Ministry told journalists in Juba on Thursday.

“We have got some machines already in the 5 states, and we are trying to see how we can start using the machines to produce mass sanitary pads, we are also looking forward to produce usable dignity kits,” Achire said, adding that they are partnering with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). 

She disclosed that for this to happen they will need to get tax waiver to speed up production of these sanitary pads.

UNICEF recently observed that 2.8 million children are out of school due to combination of conflicts and child early marriages. It noted that the majority of these children are girls.

Suzan Santo, a female student from Dreamland Secondary School, said that girls are being harassed by boys during menstrual cycles.

“I am really so glad to see boys around with us here, I think these boys are going to be changed, boys are known to be harassing girls in schools, we are going to share this knowledge in various schools,” Santo said.

Kidane Abraha, the head of Integrated Sexual and Reproductive Health Program for UNFPA, said menstrual hygiene is beyond sanitation.

Adding this development is an opportunity for women and girls to improve their lives.

“Given the multiple challenges women and adolescent girls face, it is evident that promoting menstrual hygiene management is not only a sanitation matter, it is also an important step towards safeguarding the dignity, bodily integrity and overall life opportunities for women and girls,” Abraha said.

He disclosed that the government of South Sudan during the 2019 Nairobi Summit committed to making sanitary pads free to all eligible girls in primary and secondary schools nationwide by 2025.

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