Monthly, 9400 girl child learners over a period of 12 months from 72 rural schools in the John Taolo Gaetse-we district are to benefit from the launch of the JTG Sanitary Towel Campaign held in Kathu on Monday 13 November 2017.
So said the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of the Northern Cape for Ed-ucation, Martha Bartlett, addressing re-presentatives of the donors, educational re-presentatives and learners.
Ms Bartlett thanked Kumba Iron Ore Sishen mine, Khumani mine, Sishen Solar Facility, Kathu Solar Park and Kelebogile Trust for joining hands with government to invest in the future of South Africa's child-ren, and in this instance, in that of the girl children.
Ms Bartlett explained that for many girls from impoverished backgrounds, the onset of puberty marks a sharp decline in school attendance and could even lead to their dropping out of school completely. One of the reasons for this high drop-out rate is the
of shame, embarrassment and stigmatisa-tion with dire consequences for the girls' education and consequently their futures.
According to research, lack of access to sanitary towels often results in young wo-men from poorer backgrounds being ab-sent from school or experiencing the loss of human dignity because of having no choice but to use old newspapers or cloths.
Young women in Africa have been re-ported as being absent from school for a pe-riod of at least four days per month. This number can total up to approximately 24 weeks out of 144 weeks in a four year pe-riod of high school. In some instances, these young women suffer from stress and depression.
The MEC also said, “As we approach the 16 Days of Activism Campaign and the fest-ive season, I want to encourage our school communities at large to support and parti-cipate actively against the violence of wo-men and children that exist in our commu-nities. Each one of us, has a responsibility to act against abuse and to report it im-mediately.
“In conclusion, this sanitary towel cam-paign is not just about supplying sanitary towels to young women, it is about making significant life-changing differences. By at-tending classes regularly, they will ultimate-ly be able to participate in economic pros-perity, both for themselves and their fami-lies.”
lack of sanitary protection and lack of know-ledge about puberty.
Because they are unable to afford sanitary
protection and they do not understand what is happening to their bodies, what should be a celebration of womanhood, becomes a time of shame, embarrassment and stigmatisa-tion with dire consequences for the girls' education and consequently their futures.
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