I read an article in the Guardian this week about the impact of the lockdown on girls in Kenya. In 2017 the Kenyan government passed a law providing free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls who needed them. All very good, but once schools closed due to the pandemic, nobody thought about sending the pads into the home. Apparently they are too expensive for many families, and so the girls had to resort to rags, or sex with men who had spare cash in order to buy pads, or even have a shower, as even such small luxuries like keeping clean was too expensive for them.
As a result estimates of the number of teenage girls who became pregnant in the country between January and May are more than 150,000, with Nairobi recording nearly 12,000 pregnancies. Anecdotal evidence from healthcare workers across the Kenyan capital suggest the true figures could be higher, as many pregnant teenagers are not coming to clinics.
This is just so shocking and so sad. All around the world women are struggling to get sanitary products and Kenya is just an example of the impact. This should not be. So I did a bit of searching and found the charity Plan international which actively supports women and girls to get access to the sanitary products they need. I believe this is well worth supporting. I would like to ask you to support this too.