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The National Democratic Congress (NDC), as part of its goal to promote sex inclusiveness in Ghana’s education system, has promised to supply complimentary sanitary pads to schoolgirls below the age of 20 should the party be elected into power come December.
Running Mate of the party, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, made this known at the NDC’s 2020 Manifesto launch held at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA), Accra.
According to her, hundreds of girls miss out on a lot as five days of school each month just because they can not pay for sanitary pads, an “inappropriate” and “unjust” circumstance she claimed the NDC looks for to fix.
“So we will provide free sanitary pads for girls to ensure a perfectly natural, perfectly normal part of their life’s functioning does not become a barrier to education and a better life. So we would focus on girls under 20 who are in school,” she said.
According to Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, concerns of lack of access to sanitary napkins need to be a thing of the past.
She said: “This is a problem we should have left behind in the last century and which we tried to address in our last government. Our opposition ridiculed this idea, but then let us hope the lessons of governance have made them much much wiser.”
In 2014, the former Mahama-led government acquired a $156 million World Bank loan, part of which was used to offer cost-free sanitary pads for teenage school girls in much less- privileged Secondary schools.
The initiative was widely ridiculed as well as criticised by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and also some Ghanaians.
Using free sanitary pads to the teenage schoolchildren at that time was viewed as a ‘wasteful’ endeavor because the short supply of learning and teaching help such as chalks.
But the Ministry of Education, which was then headed by Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, justified its actions insisting that the circulation of the sanitary pad was needed to stop the girls from leaving of school.
On the other hand, the ruling NPP has actually promised to remove import duty on sanitary pads if Ghanaians give them a second term.
Reading the party’s 2020 Manifesto, Vice President Dr Mahammudu Bawumia stated the move is to improve health conditions of the students, specifically amongst women.
He indicated that the move has ended up being required given that some female pupils miss classes because they can not buy sanitary pads.
“What we aim to really do is to make sure that we produce the sanitary pads in Ghana so until that happens in its numbers we are going to eliminate the import duties [on sanitary pads] to bring down the cost,” he said.
Source: Ghana Waves