A majority of the girl students in community schools in the Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City were found not attending their schools during their monthly period.
Thus absenteeism among the menstruating girl students was rife in the schools lacking adequate menstrual hygiene management (MHM) facilities.
They have cited the lack of gender-friendly toilets and unavailability of water, soaps and trash bin to be the reasons behind their absence from their schools during their period.
Due to this, the girl students were discouraged to attend their classes regularly and concentrate in their studies which would eventually contribute towards their decreased performance, thereby widening the gender gap between boys and girls in enrollment and retention in school.
A 10th grader Sweta Kanaujiya shared, “The school toilets are not clean. There is no proper bin to dispose of the used sanitary pads which makes me stay at home during my period.”
There are altogether 5,773 girl students studying in 43 community schools in the Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City.
The Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City, under its Five-Year –Plan has mooted the plan to construct gender-friendly toilets in all community schools in its area, according to the Education Department Chief Man Prasad Regmi.
Regmi informed that only quite a few community schools in Nepalgunj had gender-friendly toilets.
Teacher Mohini Yogi viewed that the teaching and learning activities for girl students especially among the 6th-10th graders were affected in lack of gender-friendly toilets.
She said ensuring the MHM facilities and gender-friendly toilets in their schools could put an end to the absenteeism among the menstruating girl students.