Lawyer wants State to provide sanitary towels to school going girls

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  • The lawyer says that if the government can provide free male condoms, it has resources to provide sanitary towels.
  • He adds that with the current economic conditions, many girls can not afford to buy sanitary towels.

A lawyer has filed a petition at the high court seeking to have the government directed to provide sanitary towels to school going girls and public institutions.

Elvis Begi Nyachiro Abenga wants a declaration to issue that the provision of free sanitary towels to all school going girls is part of realizing the right to the highest attainable standard of health which is the duty of the
Respondents (the Attorney General and Cabinet Secretary Health).

The petitioner claims that Providence of male condoms is enough to show the government has resources for the sanitary towels.

“A declaration does issue that the State’s providence of male condoms is sufficient evidence to show that resources are available and that the State has no defense under Article 20 of the 2010 Constitution,” states the lawyer.

As the world marks World Menstrual Hygiene Day tomorrow, Abenga argues that with the current economic conditions, it is very difficult for most girls to afford sanitary towels.

“As a result of lack of sanitary towels, more than 60 % of girls in impoverished home and areas in Kenya miss schooling during their menses, in addition to suffering from gross indignity,” says Abega.

He claims that the state is providing free condoms in every public institution adding that if that is feasible, then there is no absolute reason why the state cannot provide the sanitary towels to school going children.

“The provision of sanitary towels to school girls is essential to upholding their inherent right to human dignity respected and protected,” he states in his court papers.

According to the petitioner, every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to healthcare services including reproductive health care adding that in realizing this right, it is the State’s responsibility to provide sanitary towels to all school going girls.

Justice Makau directed that the application be served to the respondents and the respondents to file and serve their responses to the application before 2nd June 2021 when the matter will be mentioned.