High prices of sanitary towels threaten menstrual hygiene!


-Struggling families are prioritizing buying food over sanitary towels-

Well wishers donating sanitary towels to street connected girls and women in Eldoret /Photo James Gitaka

By Wambui Kamau

The ailing economy of Kenya has contributed to the plummeting  prices of essential commodities such as flour and sugar.

For women, sanitary towels are considered essential commodities. As prices of food and other commodities rise, so have the prices of sanitary towels.

Families prioritize buying food as this is required for survival and unintentionally let go sanitary towels needed for their daughters negatively affecting their menstrual hygiene.

Most school going girls have had to stay home during their menstrual cycle to avoid the stigma that comes with messing on their clothes. This has affected their school attendance especially those from regions adversely affected by drought and hunger.

Young girls from poor families have been forced to use alternative means to access this essential commodity, including sleeping with men, hence increased number of school dropouts, early teenage pregnancies and increased HIV infections as well.

A number of individuals have developed recyclable pads but these pose a risk to the menstrual hygiene of women in the country, especially in regions that are facing drought.

With the removal of subsidies and the government introducing new taxes to boost the economy, the cost of living is predicted to increase even more, making the access of this essential commodity even harder for girls from struggling households.

The Current prices of  sanitary towels have increased  drastically  by KSH40.

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