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Kenya: Anger as teenager commits suicide over ‘menstrual shame’

A school in Kenya has been shut down over the death of a pupil who committed suicide after she was embarrassed by her teacher for staining her uniform during menstruation.

The 14 year old school girl hanged herself after she was shamed by her class teacher for having her menses and staining her uniform.

According to the mother of the deceased her daughter’s teacher  called her “dirty” for soiling her uniform and ordered her to leave the class in Kabiangek, west of the capital Nairobi, last Friday.

“She had nothing to use as a pad. When the blood stained her clothes, she was told to leave the classroom and stand outside”.

The girl was later found dead after she reported her ordeal to her parents.


Closure of school

Although the matter was reported to the Police no action was taken, compelling the distraught parents and other sympathizers to storm the school and demonstrate.

They blocked a road and pulled down the school gate leading to the closure of the school. At least five people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Provision of free sanitary towels

In 2017 Kenya passed a law to provide free sanitary towels for schoolgirls. But the law is yet to be implemented across all schools in Kenya.

A UN report in 2014 said that one in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa missed school during their period.

Some girls reportedly lose 20% of their education for this reason, making them more likely to drop out of school.



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