The Ministry of Women Affairs says it has embarked on an initiative to subsidise the cost of sanitary pads for school girls in the country.
Mary Ekpere-Eta, Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development, a parastatal of the Ministry of Women Affairs, made this during a press briefing to commemorate the 2019 International Day of the Girl in Abuja on Friday.
This is coming in the wake of an investigation carried out by TheCable into how the education and health of schoolgirls are affected by the inability to afford sanitary pads.
In the report, some of the affected persons said they were unable to afford sanitary pads — even for N200 — hence stay away from school during their menstrual period.
She said efforts are ongoing to reach an arrangement with companies who produce sanitary pads to sell at subsidised rates in rural areas.
Ekpere-Eta enjoined the companies to support the initiative by reducing the cost and making it easily available.
She said young girls would be spared the pain of wondering how to get pads that they cannot afford.
“We have a menstrual hygiene corner in our programme whereby many of you could just drop in maybe N10 or N20 and there’s an arrangement with most of these companies who produce sanitary pads who will now sell at subsidised rates, which we will distribute to rural areas, especially in secondary schools, “she said.
“Be that as it may, we are working further to see how the issue of price will be dealt with. But it is a gradual process and we need to find a way to reach the manufacturers and find out how to reduce the price.
“Through advocacy, we encourage as a corporate social organisation from other agencies and private sector, to ensure that every organisation will buy a certain quantity of pads available to schools and send to rural areas as their own CSR.”
Wunmi Onanuga, chairperson of the committee of women development and social development, and four other lawmakers also moved a motion on the matter at the plenary session on Thursday.