It was the Head Teacher at a school in Kenya who told us what stops children attending his school: the first is a lack of food in the family, meaning children have to work, scavenge or beg on the streets during the day, or be hungry at school. The second is the un-affordability of sanitary protection for girls, forcing them to miss a week of school each month.
African girls miss school every month – just because they are girls. The problem is a lack of affordable sanitary towels. Poor families cannot afford sanitary towels or even underwear and feeding their children takes priority. Many girls are forced to use unsanitary rags, animal skins, and even chicken feathers as protection while they menstruate. We have even heard of young women digging holes in the ground to sit over in isolation all day.