Kenya: Law Guarantees Free Sanitary Towels for Women

March 8, 2024

Kenya has passed the Provision of Sanitary Towels Act, 2024, which guarantees free, high-quality menstrual hygiene products for women in all public institutions and correctional facilities. This is a historic step towards gender equality and menstrual health.

The bill, which is supported by Senator Gloria Orwoba, seeks to end the stigma and obstacles associated with menstruation and guarantee that no woman or girl is prevented from pursuing an education or finding employment because they cannot afford sanitary products.

The distribution efforts will be led by the recently formed Inter-Ministerial Committee on Provision of Sanitary Towels, which is composed of representatives from civil society, gender advocates, and government officials. Their remit encompasses overseeing the logistics of distribution, providing policy advice, and guaranteeing ecologically sustainable disposal methods.

Senator Orwoba declared, “This is a monumental leap forward in our pursuit of women’s rights and gender equality.” “Menstrual health is not just a women’s issue; it’s a societal issue, and it’s time we address it with the urgency it deserves.”

Governments at the county and federal levels will work together to customize distribution plans for each county’s unique circumstances. To guarantee that these necessary goods are accessible to even the most marginalized communities, county interdepartmental committees will supervise implementation at the local level.

The law forbids reselling or rebranding the sanitary towels that are provided in order to prevent exploitation. The government’s commitment to protecting the dignity of women and girls is demonstrated by the severe fines and imprisonment imposed on offenders.

The Cabinet Secretary for Gender Affairs said, “The passing of this act marks a significant milestone in Kenya’s journey towards menstrual equity.” “By prioritizing menstrual health, we’re not only empowering women; we’re breaking down long-standing taboos and fostering a more inclusive society.”

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