Adolescent girls in the central region have called on the government to scrap the 20 percent tax on sanitary pads which has become a disincentive to girl-child lifestyle.
First Ghana News has gather that,alarming number of girls can now not afford sanitary pads and the situation is pushing them into having sex with older men .
Additionally, others were also compelled to use unhygienic materials such as pieces of cloth which could lead to infection some of which can be fatal.
Ms. Christabel Nti, a 16year old pupil of Assin Amoabin D/A school has appealed on behalf of teenage girls in the Central Region at a forum to mark this year’s International Day of Girl Child [IDGC] in cape coast on Tuesday. The Forum also formed part of the Safe Protective Environment for Adolescent Development [SPREAD], an advocacy campaign by the International Needs Ghana INGH, A non-governmental organization dedicated to transforming lives and changing communities.
Among others, the SPREAD initiatives seek to promote a safe environment for boys and girls to reduce adolescent pregnancy and abuse at the community level.
With support from UNICEF, the girl’s empowerment meeting was the theme, Ending Adolescent Pregnancy, abuse, and exploitation. a shared responsibility.
Ms. Nti stated that the natural process for girls in the journey of monthly menstruation should not be misconstrued since it is a natural process that a woman or a girl does not have control over it.
Scrapping the tax will afford the girl the ability to purchase them and save them the possiblilty or infl;uence of dating older men in attempt to euiping their purses to afford the pads. The Government should do something about it she noted
Ms. Nti backed calls for victims and survivors of rape, defilement and other forms of abuse should not to be made to pay before the medical report is issued for police to initiate action for justice.
She called for more education on menstrual hygiene to help demystify it so that girls will not feel ashamed to let others know that they are in their menses. Parents should make sure that they educate their young girls on menstruation before they start experiencing it to help minimize the discomfort they will have to go through, she also adviced.
Furthermore, she also proposed that the government should invest in alternative local materials and support the local industries to produce affordable and easily acceptable pads.
Mrs. Richlove Amamoo, the Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender receives the petition and pledge to forward it to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for policy intervention.
She lauded INGH for the holistic approach to girls’ development initiative and implored the organization to keep up the good work.
Mr. Isaac Arthur a Child Right Activist with INGH said the SPREAD project was an intervention being implemented in 55 communities within 11 districts across three regions in Ghana.
The goal of the project was to contribute to the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, abuse, and exploitation at the community level by promoting a safe and protective environment for adolescent boys and girls.
With that, he committed the INGH to sustained awareness creation on the right of the child as well as build the capacity of families and communities to protect children from violence and abuse as ensured in the constitution.