By and by we are getting somewhere with the discussions on My Desk. Today’s discussion will be centered around an integral part of our shared biological makeup. Young girls are a part of society’s growth and leaving them behind will not be fair on the global 2030 sustainable development goals agenda. We talk about sending young girls to school but how can we achieve that when their periods are been taxed? Full blown able working women are equally facing this challenge of high priced menstrual pads, and this is the more reason why this problem needs to be tackled head on.
One may argue that there are other options for a young girl who cannot afford to buy sanitary pads. If you ask me, such argument is as flawed as the individual who raises such a point. It is based on this argument that a lot of young girls are using all forms of unhygienic materials such as, used cloths, leaves, and rubbers, to secure their periods. The only reason why hygienic pads are good for women is that it holds periods much longer and are more comfortable to move about in. So the next time you think women and girls should have other alternatives, think hygiene, timing and comfort.
Young girls need to see role models been represented in the fight for tax free menstrual pads. Young girls need this so that they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday, fighting for the rights of other girls like someone did for them too. All that I have been discussing will fall on stony grounds if there are no parameters in place for others to follow.
Leadership by example
Whatever the Ghanaian youth are seeing today, they mimmick tomorrow. A good idea is often destroyed by bad people, and good people can always make a bad idea better. I ask myself “Who’s setting the right standards for youth to follow?” And the answer keeps coming back at me,“It is no one else but myself”. The core of whatever I write about is to tell the stories that provoke impact and that stir up changemakers to lead in their own small way.
Call to action
A lot more people have started the initiative of providing sanitary towels to young girls in deprived communities. Many more must join the campaign to eradicate period tax so that more and more women and girls can afford these products at their convenience. Young girls should not absent themselves from school or work because they cannot feel confident in themselves during their period. Schools should equally join the campaign by adding sanitary pads to their first aid tool box to encourage young girls to come to school even while they are menstruating.
I believe that when the prices of sanitary pads are reduced and taxes are waived off them, more and more girls will remain in school. We must also encourage young girls to speak up on challenges affecting them during these periods so that they can get the needed help. We should also refrain from asking young girls to push toilet rolls and rags into their sensitive parts all in the name of choosing alternative methods which may be detrimental to their health.
I therefore use this opportunity to call on individuals and organizations to donate sanitary towels to a deprived family, school or community near you. The conversation continues.
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