I feel it is about time I added my voice to the mercurial increase in the prices of sanitary pads in the market and the heaviness on young girls who have a monthly ritual to honour.
I recently eavesdropped on a conversation involving some young basic school girls on their way back from school one rainy afternoon and I was utterly shocked at the things they were sharing with their friends. Let me just share what was the height of them.
Amongst the group were girls from fairly good homes. You could really tell from their looks and utterances that they had nothing to worry about. With pride, they disclosed that their parents were playing such a big part in ensuring that they smiled always. According to them, sanitary pad issues do not bother them at all since there was always enough to choose from.
Now for the rest of the girls, it became abundantly evident that a chunk who could not afford the high cost of the sanitary pads, often times, resorted to the use of tissue papers and cloth cutouts in order to see themselves through. In spite of the stains during “heavy flows”, they just needed to be covered. Those that could not improvised, confessed sleeping with either Kɔdzo, Kɔbla or Efo Agbeko who weaves kente or rides “Okada” for some financial gains. This was to be guaranteed at least some packs of sanitary pads in readiness for their monthly flow. Look, these young ones were unapologetic about their revelations.
Aside the sanitary pad debacle, there are bread and butter issues as well. That I can confidently say.
I know some NGOs and individuals are doing so well in keeping heads above water by making donations to the young girls in need. My fear is the sustainability bit because the economy has not been friendly to anyone. Things are really hard.
Could there be a reprieve from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection? Could the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service cook up something in the interim to help solve this problem which is regenerating into other social challenges? Could parents irrespective of their financial standing be there for their girls by attending to their needs; at least the basic ones?
Undeniably, young girls are going through a lot just to keep themselves sanitized at the end of the month. Truth be told, there has to be some respite somewhere, somehow, someday. They are looking elsewhere to solve their problems and it is not a good sign at all.
The decadence is real.
Written By : Nutefe Worla ✍️