A SCHOOLGIRL TAKES OWN LIFE AFTER BEING SHAMED FOR HAVING PERIOD STAIN
ABOUT 200 PARENTS PROTESTED OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL DUE TO LACK OF POLICE ACTION
THE GIRL HAD NOTHING TO USE AS A PAD AND, MANY GIRLS, IN SOME COUNTRIES, CANNOT AFFORD SANITARY PRODUCTS
THE GOVERNMENT PASSED A LAW IN 2017 TO PROVIDE FREE SANITARY TOWELS FOR SCHOOLGIRLS BUT THE PROGRAMME IS YET TO BE ROLLED OUT ACROSS ALL SCHOOLS.
A 14-year old schoolgirl has taken own life after allegedly shamed and ordered ou of the classroom for having her school uniform stained by her period blood.
The schoolgirl’s mother confessed that her daughter hanged herself after being humiliated by a teacher in the school.
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The mother told media reporters that a teacher had called her “dirty” for soiling her uniform and commanded her to leave the classroom and stand outside. She felt embarrassed by the teacher’s action. The incident happened in Kabiangek – a town west of Nairobi, capital of Kenya last Friday. The girl narrated her experience in school to her mother when she returned home but as she left home to fetch water from a source, she took her life.
The girls’ parents reported the matter to the police but became frustrated and staged a protest together with other parents outside the school four days later due to apparent lack of action from the police.
Local report said that the Police, however, moved in and made five arrests when the demonstrators blocked a road and pulled down the school gate. The Police had used tear gas to disperse a crowd of about two hundred (200) parents protesting outside the school. Mr Alex Shikondi, the Police Regional Chief, said that the Police were still investigating the circumstances surrounding the girl’s death. BBC Africa reported that the school’s headteacher declined to comment on the matter when asked.
The girl had nothing to use as a pad according to the mother. Many girls, in Kenya and other countries, cannot afford personal hygiene sanitary products such as pads and tampons. A UN report in 2014 said that one in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa missed school during their period. It was reported that some schools lose one out of every five girls for this reason who are likely to drop out of schools.
Kenyan Government passed a law in 2017 to provide free sanitary towels for schoolgirls but the programme is yet to be rolled out across all schools.