The government must provide free sanitary pads for girls in senior high schools as part of the Free Senior High School programme, a youth and family-focused non-governmental organization has said.

The organization, J Initiative said studies have indicated that 95% of girls absent themselves from school when menstruating due to lack of money to buy sanitary towels.

“It is sad to note that the Free Senior High School programme that seeks to remove cost barriers to education and ensure that no child is left behind has woefully failed to include the provision of sanitary pads into the list of things that the government will be catering for under the programme,” the NGO said in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Awo Aidam Amenyah to back their proposal.

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It further said that Ghana can learn from Kenya which provides free sanitary towels to schoolgirls in deprived areas.

The statement added that the lack of free sanitary towels for schoolgirls “can impact negatively on the Free SHS programme,” explaining that: “As poor menstrual hygiene management can result in absenteeism, poor performance, hamper gender parity in education and the overall achievement of the Free Senior High School programme.”