Gender Gender

Girls’ healthy key to growth: Reactions

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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
DEAR Mrs Chilufya,
We are proud of the constant reporting done by Zambia Daily Mail to raise issues on the difficulties faced by the girl child during their time of the month. The consequences of missing school and an education in 2020 due to menstruation is a difficult idea to accept.
As supporters/ partners of the movement to eliminate missing school due to menstruation, as well as being local manufacturers of Femcare sanitary pads, we are proud of all stakeholders who have continued to fight for the girl child in making this important and progressive announcement possible.
Kind regards,
Scott and Bennett Ltd
Last week, Minister of General Education David Mabumba announced that Government, with the support of cooperating partners, will next month begin the distribution of sanitary towels in public schools. This exercise will definitely impact positively on educating the girl child.
For the longest of time, the lack of sanitary wear and ablution facilities in most schools has hindered girls’ education, especially in rural areas.
Because of high poverty levels, most girls cannot afford the cost of sanitary wear, and there is lack of appropriate facilities.
This has often forced them to stay away from school every month for the period of the cycle. Some girls have faced discrimination, embarrassment and stigma because they do not have correct information pertaining to cleanliness and hygiene during this time.
These factors have contributed to high levels of absenteeism by girls, a situation that does not affect the boys.
To make up for lost time, an average girl has to work twice as hard to make up for the missed lessons.
That is why women are usually found at the bottom rung of poverty, illiteracy and always being dependent on others, particularly the men, in their lives.
According to developmental experts, when a country invests in girls’ education, the dividends are higher through what is referred to as the ‘multiplier effect’. The benefits of educating a girl go beyond the individual’s status and achievement.
Girls’ education has an immeasurable impact on the family, community and country. It has the ability to decrease infant mortality, improve nutrition, boost financial independence and a country’s economy.
Most importantly, through education, girls are empowered to understand their full potential by having a greater awareness of their rights and confidence in their ability to make informed decisions in all areas and they are not likely to become victims of early marriages or pregnancies
When an entire generation of girls is educated, the trickle-down results into enormous possibilities for everyone are immense.
Remember, children are our future. Until next week, take care.
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