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Group Seeks Tax Refund On Sanitary Towel

An NGO, Focusing on Women and Girls Initiative for Positive Change (FOWGI), has urged Federal Government to remove all taxes on sanitary pad to make it accessible and affordable.

The Executive Director of the group, Mrs Rifkatu Ademola, made the call during sensitisation on menstrual hygiene management and distribution of sanitary pad to 1,500 students of Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Dutse in the FCT.

Ademola, also a menstrual hygiene educator and advocate of girls education, said that the gesture was to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4, and create a platform for the full expression of African female.

According to her, the goal is to ensure that by 2030, menstruation becomes a normal topic with no girl left behind.

The FOWGI boss also quoted UNESCO report as saying “one in every 10 girls miss school due to menstruation, stigmatisation and inadequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities. She added that some girls were forced to sit on sand to absorb the blood.

“We discovered that girls miss schools during their period every month and according to UNESCO, one out of 10 African girls misses out on school when it is their time of the month.

Ademola further said that in the last five years, the NGO had distributed sanitary pad to over 59,200

students in Bauchi, Plateau and the FCT and urged government and private organisations to establish pad bank, where young underprivileged girls could access pad.

On her part, Hajiya Fatima Mohammed, the Principal, GGSS Dutse, commended the organisation for the support.

Mohammed said the sensitisation on menstrual hygiene management would aide the students to know more about their cycle, build their confidence and appropriate ways to ensure hygiene.

One of the beneficiary student, Miss Purity Godwin, said the sensitisation had further broadened her knowledge on menstrual cycle and hygiene management, as well as the appropriate way to dispose sanitary pad after use.

Godwin added that the students were taught not to be shy or stigmatise others on their period, rather, they should show support and teach them menstrual hygiene management.

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