Members of Parliament have adopted a motion calling for the provision of sanitary pads to all female students in Botswana.
The motion tabled by Member of Parliament for Nata-Gweta, Mr Polson Majaga highlighted that according to the UN’s education agency, one in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their monthly menstrual period, adding that some girls reportedly lose 20 per cent of their education due to menstrual periods, making them more likely to drop out of school altogether.
He said government provision of sanitary pads to all schools would improve access to education in a country where many could not afford sanitary products like pads a.
Mr Majaga stated that the motion catered for every girl child registered at either a private school or government school.
Commenting on the motion, Member of Parliament for Takatokwane, Mr Ngaka Ngaka applauded the mover of the motion highlighting that the provision of sanitary pads at schools has been long overdue particularly in poverty stricken rural areas.
He indicated that one of the reasons why his constituency has been performing badly academically was primarily due to the fact that some girl students had to miss school when on their monthly menstrual as parents could not afford to provide them with sanitary pads.
He called on the business community to also come on board and assist government with the provision of sanitary pads to schools.
Mahalapye East legislature, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso also supported the motion emphasizing the necessity for parliament to adopt it.
Ms Tshireletso, who is also assistant minister for local government and rural development and a member of the SADC parliamentary forum , stated that a similar motion that would oblige SADC members to provide sanitary pads at schools has also been discussed at the SADC parliamentary forum.
She added that her ministry on the other hand was already rolling out a similar programme that catered for the provision of sanitary pads and toiletry to all needy students registered with the social and community development department.
Basic education assistant minister and Member of Parliament for Palapye, Mr Moisiraela Goya also acknowledged the motion saying the move to avail sanitary pads to students would contribute immensely on proper school attendance by the girl child.
He said girl students who have reached puberty were always struggling to catch up with their counterparts after missing school during their monthly menstrual periods since a lot of them could not afford to provide themselves with sanitary pads, hence abscond or drop out from school.
He remained optimistic that the move would also install some dignity to the girl child as they would always be in a position to use medically approved sanitary pads.
Source: Botswana Daily News