The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it had embarked on a policy to subsidise the cost of sanitary pads and commence its free distribution to schoolgirls in the country.
The government also called on companies which produce sanitary pads to key into the gesture as part of their corporate social responsibilities through contributions, price reduction and availability.
Director-General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Mary Ekpere-Eta, stated these during a press briefing held in Abuja in commemoration of the 2019 International Day of the Girl Child with the theme: “Girlsforce: Unscripted…Unstoppable – Empowering girls for a brighter tomorrow.”
She said through such efforts, young girls would not have to suffer as a result of the high cost of sanitary pads.
Sanitary pads largely go for between N250 and N400 per pack, depending on the quality.
NCWD is a parastatal under the Ministry of Women Affairs.Mrs Ekpere-Eta said the NCWD was in talks with sanitary pad-producing companies towards ensuring that the price of pad were subsidised.
She said even though much had been achieved, there was still much to be desired as child marriage still existed, alongside daily occurrences of gender-based violence against the girl child with some of them being turned into sex slaves.
“We have a menstrual hygiene corner in our programme whereby many of you could just drop in may be N10 or N20 and there’s an arrangement with most of these companies who produce sanitary pads who will now sell at subsidised rates, which we will distribute to rural areas, especially in secondary schools,” she said
“Be that as it may, we are working further to see how the issue of price will be dealt with. But it is a gradual process and we need to find a way to reach the manufacturers and find out how to reduce the price.
“Through advocacy, we encourage as a corporate social organisation from other agencies and private sector, to ensure that every organisation will buy a certain quantity of pads available to schools and send to rural areas as their own CSR.”
EduCeleb.com reports that 62% of children out of school in Nigeria are girls. It is believed that measures like this would help keep girls in school.