CSOs recommend sanitary pads use to boost girl-child enrolment in Gombe

Governor Inuwa Yahaya – Gombe State

The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), in Gombe State, has recommended the provision of sanitary pads as a strategy to boost girl-child enrolment in schools across the state.

The Coordinator of the Coalition, Hajiya Zariyatu Abubakar, made the recommendation during an advocacy visit to the Gombe State Co-ordinator of Better Education Service Delivery For All (BESDA), on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the advocacy visit was sponsored by Save the Children International, with support from the Government of Netherlands.

Abubakar said there were issues that needed to be addressed in schools across the state to encourage girl-child education and boost their enrolment into schools across the state.

According to her, the girl-child is unique and needs special attention, especially when they are growing up and maturity begins to set in.

She stated that issues relating to sanitary pads, wash and toilet facilities in schools, could discourage the girl-child from getting the education she deserved.

“If contraceptives can be provided for people to use when they choose to have sex, there should be no reason why sanitary pads cannot be provided for girls, who cannot make a choice about menstruation.

“The state government will do well to provide female students/pupils sanitary pads to encourage them to stay in schools. There are girls who miss school because of menstruation, to avoid embarrassment.

“We appeal and recommend that sanitary pads, good wash and toilet facilities be provided in schools. It has been confirmed that these issues actually keep some girls away from schools; so government should step in in this regard,” Abubakar said.

The co-ordinator also urged the state government to engage more female tutors in schools, who would be role models.

She also appealed to the state government to pay the counterpart funds for the training scheme for female facilitators, sponsored by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to her, UNICEF has fulfilled its pledge of paying 50 per cent of the fund, while the state government is yet to pay and “there seems to be no plan to enrol more after this batch.”

Also speaking, the Chairman, Gombe State Working Group on Family Planning, and Executive Director of Saif Advocacy Foundation, Alhassan Yaya, said provision of sanitary pads would help address some health issues relating to girls.

Yaya urged the state government to pay more attention to rural communities when making and implementing policies relating to education, adding that the state of the girl-child in communities was pathetic.

Responding, Dr Abdullahi Ahmad, co-ordinator of BESDA in the state, appreciated the team and pledged his agency’s readiness to contribute to improving quality education in the state and also welcome new ideas.

Ahmad said: “We have a budget of 300 female facilitators, and we are trying to see the areas where they are needed for intervention.”

He added that the agency would include provision of sanitary pads in its work plan to encourage girl-child education in the state. (NAN)

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