The Upper West Regional Coordinator of Global Communities, Martin Sumbo, has appealed to the government to subsidise or remove taxes on sanitary pads to make them affordable to school girls.
This, he said, would save them from the tendency of staying out of school during menstruation.
Mr Sumbo, who said this in Wa at the weekend, could not fathom why a condom was affordable though using it was optional, while a sanitary pad, which was compulsory for every girl, was rather expensive to procure.
He was speaking during the 2022 commemoration of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day on the theme: ‘We are Committed’, organised by the Global Communities, in partnership with USAID, Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service and Be Girl.
Currently, a condom in the market costs between GHC ¢3 and GHC ¢5, while a sanitary pad ranges from Gh¢8 to Gh¢10.
“Sex is a choice, but mensuration is not a choice, so the government can remove taxes on sanitary pads to make it affordable, especially to rural girls.
“A schoolgirl should not be worried about where to buy a pad when she is menstruating or a parent should not be thinking of where to get money to buy a pad for the daughter who is in school,” Mr Sumbo explained.
He explained that the prohibitive cost of sanitary pads did not only sometimes keep the girl out of school, but also led to preventable teenage pregnancy as the girl who could not afford it would depend on men for it and in turn pay back with sex.
“If parents also ensure that the pads are available to their wards, it will help prevent some of these pregnancies, and they will be comfortable in the school,” Mr Sumbo said.