Obuasi witnessed 100 percent participation of the girl child in BECE in 2022. This is in sharp contrast to what was achieved in 2020 and 2021 when 86 and 96% of girls participated in the BECE respectively.
This significant improvement has been attributed to a number of policies rolled out to keep the girls in school. One of such initiatives is the pad distribution program implemented by AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine.
The 2-year program which began in 2022 has seen AngloGold Ashanti and its partners, German development cooperation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit ( GIZ) commit to distribute 10,000 sanitary pads to girls in Obuasi.
According to the Social Development and Gender Superintendent of AGAG, Mavis Nana Yaa Kyei there are discussions to extend the program going forward due to the positive impact it has made so far.
She said the pad distribution program forms part of the health pillar of the company’s 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan. She said with the support of the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service, they will contribute to ending period poverty by providing girls with the necessary resources to manage their menstruation effectively.
As part of the program, AngloGold Ashanti in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service has intensified education on the need to observe menstrual hygiene among girls in schools. The objective according to Mrs. Kyei is intended to break down the barriers of stigma and shame associated with menstruation.
It would be recalled that AngloGold Ashanti distributed 750 sanitary pads to some JHS girls in the Obuasi East District in May to mark World Menstrual Hygiene Day. This time, the company distributed 1000 pads to school girls in the Obuasi Municipality. Students from Apitikooko, Sanso, Anyinam Methodist A and B were beneficiaries.
The need for pad banks in schools
The Obuasi Municipal Girl child coordinator Cecilia Salifu has once again appealed to government to create pad banks in schools. He said this has become necessary due to the surge in the prices of sanitary pads.
Sharing her thoughts on menstrual poverty, Madam Salifu bemoaned the difficulties girls go through to access sanitary pads during menstruation. ” Some of the girls are forced to stay out of school completely during the period and this affects their academic performance”.
She commended AngloGold Ashanti for the initiative saying it is yielding the needed results.
The beneficiaries who shared their ordeals with the media said they had to improvise during the period of menstruation saying the cost of sanitary pads makes it difficult for their parents to access it. Whiles they commended AngloGold Ashanti for coming to their aid, they also appealed to government to make pads affordable for them.