Are girls not privileged to getting quality education as all other children? Should girls drop out of their school because they can’t get proper water and toilet facilities when they go through tough period of menstruation? What is the solution?
In the life time of a woman, she will have a total of around 3,000 days of menstruation. For her basic schooling period which range from Grade 4 to 10 the number of such days is 450. At remote schools, menstruating girls face problems such as inadequate water for washing, lack of soap, safe disposal of pads and non-functioning or insufficient toilets. As a result, they often choose to stay home and eventually they drop out of school. Research shows that in Nepal, the dropout rate of girls is 7 percent in primary level and 11 percent in secondary level (class 10).
Hence, with an objective of bringing a decrement in dropout rate of adolescent school girls, ECCA has been constructing girl friendly toilets in remote community schools of Nepal. The successful construction of girl friendly toilet in Shree Gothbhyanjyang Higher Secondary School of Dalchoki, Southern Lalitpur reported that the number of girl absentees is lesser as compared to before. The provision of proper water facility, facilitated toilets and solutions for disposal of pads has definitely encouraged female students to attend schools. Not only this, helping them during their time of menstruation by providing them pads by the school itself has been providing a more comfortable environment for them.
Now, ECCA has reached to constructing similar girl friendly toilets and proper sanitation corner in Binayak Bal Lower Secondary School of Badal Gaun, Kavre as well. The construction of toilets is already in its final phase and soon they will be ready to use. Besides this, ECCA regularly provides informative sessions on WASH and menstrual hygiene to help students adopt healthy behaviors and be more open about things as menstruation.
“We do have toilets in the school but they are not as well-facilitated as the ones which are in the phase of construction. I think it is very nice that every girl in our school won’t hesitate to attend school when they are having their period”, said one of the students.