Remove tax onsanitary pads – STMA Director of Edu.
● Mrs Sally Coleman addressing the participants
“I am advocating the total abolition of any tax imposed on the importation of sanitary pad so that it becomes affordable for parents to buy for their children,” the Metropolitan Director of Education, Sekondi -Takoradi, Mrs Sally Nelly Coleman, has proposed.
She explained that, the new policy would free girls from “hungry” men who exploited them for sex due to poverty.
“My plea is that the government should make it free for them. Because at times you meet the girl and you ask what made you pregnant, she will sadly say I was in need of sanitary pads.” Mrs Coleman added.
She made the suggestion at a meeting with journalists as part of stakeholders engagement on youth -oriented and gender-sensitive topics in line with the Twin Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project (TCSPP), held at Sekondi in the Western Region.
“One worrying aspect nowadays is that, the children who are in their menstrual ages find it very difficult and that some parents don’t even buy their sanitary pads for them. And it will shock you that some unscrupulous men are in the habit of providing just a sanitary pad and take advantage of these innocent children,” she said.
Mrs Coleman indicated that, she was not asking for more if the government could provide sanitary pads free of charge for girls whose parents could not provide any.
She told the journalists that her suggestion was not meant to encourage teenage pregnancy, noting that, “some students have taken it as a yardstick or as a field day and they are doing their own thing.”
The Education Director urged parents and other stakeholders including social workers team -up with the Ghana Education Service, and the Ghana Health Service to help these school children who now carried pregnancy without any bad feeling.
“The Bible tells us that there’s time for everything. Time to study, time to work, time to marry and the time to have your children. But, they shouldn’t use their time to study to get pregnant”.
Mrs Coleman noted that some parents were shirking their responsibilities, resulting in the kind of situation society found itself and pleaded with caregivers “to sit up if the child needs food, please do it.”
“This is what is happening, and, as leaders in society, we must think outside the box to help our school children,” she said.
The GES, she said, had intensified counseling units to help curb teenage pregnancies.
Mrs Coleman stressed “That is why we are here. All of us should put our minds together and see how best we can solve it. We are not here to talk about provision of infrastructure. We’ve spoken about these things for far too long. There is attitude that is eating up academic performance.
“We need to help the children and change such attitude. For, today they are children but tomorrow, they are going to lead this country and what kind of leadership skills are we giving them to run the system?”
The Western Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVSSU), Superintendent Setina Aboagye, also indicated that some parents were failing to supply the necessities of life like maintenance and also re-fuse to take care of their children.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi