The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has promised to provide schoolgirls under age 20 with free periodic sanitary pads to foster gender inclusiveness and promote hygiene.
This was made known by the party’s running-mate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang at the NDC’s manifesto launch on Monday at the University of Professional Studies in Accra.
According to her, it is unacceptable for millions of schoolgirls to miss school during that period of the month because they can’t afford sanitary pads.
“So we will provide free sanitary pads for girls to ensure a perfectly natural, perfectly normal part of their life’s functioning does not become a barrier to education and a better life. So we would focus on girls under 20 who are in school,” she said.
Prof. Jane Opoku-Agyemang said the NDC is determined to end the sanitary pad menace that has been the nightmare of many girls every month.
“This is a problem we should have left behind in the last century and which we tried to address in our last government. Our opposition ridiculed this idea, but then let us hope the lessons of governance have made them much much wiser.”
In 2014, the then Mahama-led government procured a $156 million World Bank loan, part of which was used to provide free sanitary pads to adolescent school girls in less- privileged Senior High Schools.
The initiative was widely ridiculed and criticised by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some Ghanaians.
Offering free sanitary pads to the adolescent schoolchildren at that time was seen as a ‘wasteful’ venture in view of the short supply of learning and teaching aids such as chalks.
Meanwhile, the NPP has also promised to scrapped the import duty on sanitary pads if voted into power come December 7 2020.