The Kenyan school system even with the numerous girl child initiatives has never been that easy for young women. A quick search of “school girl defiled (If you are not Kenyan and are wondering what this defiling business it just happens to be the politically correct word used by media here for rape) in Kenya” gives me these links;
– 15–year–old girl defiled in Kilifi | The Star
– Three held for defiling girls | The Star
– Teacher held for defiling girl, 12 – The Standard
– Man held for ‘defiling eight-year old girl‘ | The Nation
Away from rape defilement issue the girl has other disadvantages to deal with. A girl gets to puberty and gets her period and with tampons being hella expensive some of the less disadvantaged suddenly have it hard. Now once a month she may be AWOL from class as she has to deal with the red robot.
The biggest company where the sanitary towel is Proctor & Gamble. Their most well known brand in the sanitary towel segment is Always Pad which is is marking its 21st year since its introduction into Kenya. That’s been a while.
Yesterday the company in conjunction with the ministry of education, science and technology unveiled their new partnership with Health Education Africa Resource Team (HEART). This team will be rolling out a program to provide 10,000 girls with on free sanitary pads and puberty education to empower girls to stay in school. The program will kick off in October 2013.
The event which had performances by saxophonist Joseph Hellon was attended by quite a few girl child friendly folks including Njoki Karuoya who is now with UNICEF and WOSWA’s Nailani Muia. Also there was Loresho Primary’s Brenda Langat telling the assembled people how beneficial this new program would be to her colleagues.
Now if someone can find a way of dealing with that “defilement” story for once and for all.