Marie Stopes Project Manager, Elly Kale, said at the event “when [a] girl menstruates, most schools do not have [the appropriate] facilities and do not supply pads. [When] girls come to school and realise they have their period, they cannot afford to buy pads, so they go home, they feel shy and do not go [back] to school. We have put up toilets, so girls can wash and change and feel comfortable to stay at school.”
School absenteeism among female students is common across the country and often involves parents stopping them from attending due to cultural and family obligations. As well as education and health policies that often overlook the rights of girls, in addition to a lack of safe and clean facilities. Kale says, “Despite all of this you have to focus on your dream and focus on the bigger picture, on who you want to be and what to do [in order] to get there”.
Tubusereia Primary is among four other schools in the Hiri district where Marie Stopes PNG and PNG Water Aid run their menstrual hygiene and family planning programs.
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