Nairobi News


Why Janet Mbugua is taking a break from social media

Former TV news anchor Janet Mbugua has taken a social media break after a week of online campaigns on menstruation hygiene.

Mbugua, who managed to obtain signatures for a petition that will kick start a discussion around zero rating pads and tampons as well as comprehensive government programme providing free pads, says its time to take a break.

“It’s been such an incredible week! A lot of it spent online and now it’s time to be present offline, at least for a bit,” she wrote.

The mother of two penned a petition that has so far attracted over 18,000 of the required 25,000 signatures to have the National Assembly provide a way forward on how pads and tampons will be distributed in schools in accordance with the law.

“The current government policy on MHM in Kenya is insufficient. In fact, the policy, which can be found in The Basic Education (Amendment) Act enacted by the Parliament of Kenya in 2017, simply reads that [the government will] ‘provide free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels to every girl child registered and enrolled in a public basic education institution who has reached puberty and provide a safe and environmentally sound mechanism for disposal of the sanitary towels.’ This policy does not give much detail or information regarding how the government provides distribution and disposal of sanitary products or education on sexual reproductive health,” Mbugua wrote.

The journalist-turned-menstrual equality advocate adds that the policy excludes needy women who are not in schools.

“What’s more, the policy is only directed towards girls enrolled in public schools, which fails to address the unique needs of other menstruating people such as low-income women and girls who are not enrolled in public schools, the disabled, refugee populations, and women and girls in juvenile detention facilities, jails, and prisons – just to name a few,” she states.