U/E: SHS students plead for changing rooms, tax removal on pads

Senior high school students in the Upper East Region have called for the provision of changing rooms in schools and the removal of taxes on sanitary pads.

These requests, which emphasised the critical need for better menstrual hygiene facilities and affordability in schools, were made at the World Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrations. The students underlined that when they need to change during severe monthly bleeding, they are forced to deal with uncomfortable and unhygienic conditions because senior high and junior high schools lack changing rooms.

Many students find themselves forced to look for dorm captains or come up with other improvised solutions, which interferes with their everyday routines and education. Nine out of 10 Ghanaian girls miss school when they are menstruating, according to statistics. Up to 45% of girls in northern Ghana use rags to control their menstrual bleeding because disposable sanitary pads are too expensive.

U/E: SHS students plead for changing rooms, tax removal on pads

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In addition to negatively impacting their health and personal hygiene, this behaviour is a major cause of girls’ absenteeism from school. After a two-day training programme on utilising reusable pads, a float was held wherein the demand for tax-free sanitary pads and changing rooms was raised.

ActionAid Ghana hosted a session in Bolgatanga with the goal of empowering and educating girls about sustainable menstrual hygiene practices. Yakubu Akuka, the ActionAid Ghana programme coordinator, backed the students’ demands and emphasised the significance of establishing a supportive learning environment for girls. 

He underlined that a scarcity of inexpensive sanitary pads causes thousands of girls from underprivileged neighbourhoods to miss school when they are menstruating.

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