Response to reports a girl in Kenya died as a result of period shaming
In response to news reports that a girl in Kenya took her own life as a result of period shaming, Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said:
“It is devastating that period-shaming has allegedly played a part in the tragic suicide of this young girl.
“Menstrual health and dignity is critical to enable all girls to live their lives and attend school without shame or insult. But we know that too often across the world, including here in the UK, girls miss school once their periods start because they feel ashamed. In many countries staying at home increases the likelihood of child marriage and forced labour, and leaves girls with a lack of opportunities.
“The Kenyan government has pledged to provide free sanitary towels for school girls, but this hasn’t yet been rolled out to all schools, with UNESCO estimating that around half of all school-age girls in Kenya do not have access to sanitary pads. They must now prioritise this alongside comprehensive sex education and training for teachers.
“Whatever the causes of this tragedy, we must do everything in our power to truly change negative attitudes towards menstruation.”