By Ahmed AHMED
Stakeholders in Bauchi have urged the state government to establish sanitary pad banks across all the female schools to end period shaming and stigma on menstruation in schools.
The stakeholders include Government officials , Civil Society Organisations, parents, students, traditional and religious leaders, People With Disability (PWDs) , Media among others.
This is contained in a communique issued and signed by Grace Maikudi from the CSOs, at the end of a roundtable meeting with 15 girls and made available to newsmen in Bauchi.
The Communique said the meeting was organised by Attah Sisters Helping Hands (ASHH) to commemorate international day of girl child with the theme “our time is now our rights, our future”.
It said establishment of a pads bank would ensure continuous availability of pads in facilities for girls in school and out of school during emergency situations.
“The sanitary pad bank would ensure the availability of sanitary pads for women and girls.
“Some of our girls miss school because they are in their menstrual period, and some do not go to school because their parents do not have money to buy the products,” it said.
The statement urged parents and guardians to report acts of sexual and gender based violence to the appropriate authorities.
“Lack of reporting is one of the main challenges of addressing sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
“We are having challenges with parents and guardians in terms of reporting because most still have the idea of keeping quiet when it comes to sexual gender-based violence issues,” it said.
The Communique stressed the need for providing Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in schools
The stakeholders also call for increased enrollment and retention of girls in Schools.
According to the Communique, the representative of the state ministry of education reiterated the commitment of the state government on provision of WASH facilities in schools.
“Also securing schools and to emphasises sex education in the Schools,” it said.