How do we ensure retention of Girls in schools?

Many Girls drop out of school for different reasons but mainly because of Menstruation. This leads to an increase in the rates of child marriages. I f we have to empower Girls, we must ensure that they complete their education. Parents have a big role to play on this matter.

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Education
  • Margaret Ngugi
    Sadly this crosses the boundaries to all developing countries. I wish these would be the things that policies would discuss in governments. These should be those resources that all female students get when they enroll in school. Free pack of sanitary towels distributed every month. Free education is not free if nature can block half the population from taking up the opportunity.
    • Hope Nankunda
      This has always been my urgument . if men and boys can access free condoms, why cant governments provide free sanitary towels to rural schools. At least to enable the girlchild stay in school and complete her education.
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  • Teresa Abila
    Great conversation here.Girls need to be retained in schools and with this both the government,private sectors,individuals and parents have a role to play.Sanitary towels are of great importance especially to the rural girls who face all kinds of challenges while in school which in most cases make them opt or are forced to be married to get such commodities.More action need to be done to provide free sanitary towels and parents/teachers urged to support and mentor the girls.
  • Thabo Mubukwanu
    There are various factors that lead to girls dropping out and menstruation is definitely an important but often overlooked issue. Society as a whole has a big role to play. At the grassroots we need more sensitization on these issues. A number of organizations are working to break the taboos surrounding menstruation. I am currently also working on such a project. However there are large knowledge gaps that need to be filled. As Michel noted we also need to tackle these issues at a higher level which is policy making. It would be ideal if government funds could be allocated towards menstrual hygiene and WASH in general for instance, to help keep girls in school. As others have also mentioned, mentorship has potential to play a big role in keeping girls in school especially where teenage pregnancies are the main factor affecting retention. Teenage years are the formative years when girls begin to discover themselves. It is crucial to have proper guidance both in the home and outside to ensure that girls do not slip through the cracks.
  • Luvpreet Kaur
    We need to give knowledge to parents and girls regarding girls education.if a girl is educated she is not alone educated..she delivers her knowledge to her kids,society n whole society..
  • Joy Eze
    Girl child education is very important to the development of all nation.Education helps to unlock all other problems.We need to mentor parents and girl child more on menstruation. Why it should not be a key to getting married and why they should to be proud to discuss about it in the public. menstruation is one of the good things that happen to women/girls, but still it is seen as a taboo, that is most people believe is a crime to talk about it .I believe with good education girls will learn how to care for themselves when they are menstruating and still go to school. Also, why they should not stop schooling just because they are menstruating. Parent should be thought to look beyond marriage when their girl child starts menstruating.
  • Joy Eze
    We need to mentor parent and the girls on the importance of menstruation and while they have to be proud to discuss it in the public. menstruation is still seen as a taboo, that is most people believe is a crime to talk about it .I believe with good education girls will learn how to care for themselves when they are menstruating and why they should not stop schooling just because they have started menstruating. Parent should be thought to look beyond marriage when their girl child starts menstruating.
  • Stella Bakibinga
    Girls must first of all have a condusive Environment if they are to attain a reasonable level of education. Proper sanitation and nutritionb are a part of this condusive Environment without which Girls will be left with no option but drop out of school.
  • Thank you for introducing this discussion @Hope. There are many challenges that affect girls while they are in school and force them to drop out. I believe one step would be to address these challenges: For instance, early marriage & pregnancies, menstruation challenges like lack of sanitary towels, lack of money to cater for school fees, inadequate food at home, sicknesses, as well security e.g. in places where girls live in fear of abduction and rape. In Kenya, girls are likely to miss 500,000 days of school in a year due to menstruation related challenges, according to KEMRI. Why can't we give girls in rural and slum areas sanitary pads for free?
  • Nwedobong Okon
    From my interaction with school girls in the rural area I'm serving, they are faced more with gender discrimination from parents and the society. Parents often would ask the girl child to drop out of school and get married because schooling them is a loss. However, seeing this menstrual aspect and will find out if this hinders their attendance and participation and do something about it.
  • Ana Choza
    I totally agree with you Catherine. We must ensure the right of girls to get education and give them the same opportunities as boys. Education is the key....
  • Catherine wachu
    Menstruation is a hindrance yes, but it is a natural way of life for a woman. I am working with an org that supports girl child education, we support the students with sanitary towels as well, if we could have organization that support girls also provide sanitary towels it would boost their confidence, enhance mobility and support them in their day to day life.
  • Michel Choto
    Unfortunately menstruation is a hinderance for marginalised girls attending school, for most proper sanitary wear is a luxury and therefore the girls end up staying home for upto 4-5days in a month and missing out on important school work. I believe that for any real change to happen, we need this issue to be tackled at Policy Level, Governments need to remove tax on pads and tampons, subsidise these items, or provide them for free in schools. After all there are big budgets in place to provide free condoms in school yet sex is a choice, on the other hand, menstruating is not. Surely Governments can do something? That being said, we all have a part to play in ensuring that girls stay in school, which is why a fellow global champion and myself have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to provide re-usable sanitary pads and impact the lives of 100 marginalised girls. See link here: https://www.crowdrise.com/shebuildsafrica
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