I believe many people’s rage with what has become known on a lighter note as “Sanitary Pad Policy” really isn’t simply rubbishing the idea of supplying school girls with sanitary towels to make them comfortable during that time of the month, so they could concentrate on their academic work. And I will not also say it is unnecessary to assist girls with such. As a matter of fact, menstrual hygiene and sanitary conditions are critical aspects of girls’ education.
My worry however, is the fact that people in positions of trust and responsibility have failed to be innovative. They seem to enjoy playing on the sensitivity of people, hiding behind the introduction of “interventions”, which they know will easily hit the soft spots of many and publicly defend them beautifully.
What happened to innovation being critical to leadership? If we moved with the times and with the rest of the world, if we meant well and good for the people, we would know that education and reproductive health for school girls and related matters is an area which attracts a lot of attention from philanthropic institutions/agencies worldwide. Governments don’t need to take loans to buy sanitary pads to distribute. All you have to do is attract the right organizations, NGO’s that dedicate themselves to such deeds. This shouldn’t be rocket science!
The world is focusing a lot of attention on improving education especially for girls and as such several NGOs/IGOs provide support for related issues such as provision of educational materials and reproductive health support for both girls and boys. If indeed we have good intentions and do our home work well, we would know what means, where to go and how to secure funds/grants and other support (not loans) for such interventions and save the country monies we don’t even have.
Pardon me if this is not the typical style of the blogs you read on this platform. But I like to be blunt and call a spade by its name. Plus I love my country Ghana too much to watch things going out of control and not speak or write out my rage.
Let me feed in on this phrase “once bitten not twice shy”. Every one born and raised in Ghana knows this phrase. We learned in primary school in our ‘idiomatic expressions’. Don’t our senior citizens always use it? Don’t they always say ‘once bitten twice shy’? Whoever said SADA, GYEEDA and the rest were not great ideas? What happened to them? Where is accountability?
Must we contract expensive loans to supply mathematical sets, pencils, sanitary towels, etc.? Must we? Especially as leaders and people in positions of trust and responsibility have failed to make us believe in the real intentions behind these social interventions? When at best these interventions have only created opportunities for those who already to have more and an avenue for corruption and zero accountability?
Just a few days back, we supported SADA as we cried for the need to develop the northern sector, yesterday we supported GYEEDA as we wailed for an avenue for youth employment; today we are rolling on the floor for sanitary towels and other educational materials to be supplied to schools to improve education for our girls.
Do we remember the adage of the “fool’s balls” and “three times”? When that time comes, feel free to quote me. Indeed, some evil books come in very beautiful covers.
Give us #ACCOUNTABLEGOVERNANCE and we will buy #Sanitarypads for our Daughters and Sisters.
Guest Blogger: Vera Asokwa Ofori