By Charles Katabalwa

The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights who is also the woman Member of Parliament for Mitooma. Jovah Kamateeka has advised parents to provide the girl child with the necessities in life to reduce on their school dropout.

Addressing a public dialogue on Tax justice for women’s rights in Kampala Kamateeka said that parents have ignored the provision of sanitary pads to their girl children claiming that government promised to offer everything in UPE and USE schools and the menstrual cycles have turned a problem to them failing their studies.

She however challenged government to support investors in sanitary products to set up companies here to reduce on the cost of such products.

Kamateeka also cautioned government against neglecting the quality of services offered to Ugandans by putting taxes fast to what the society should get.

Although Uganda has a strong legal framework in right to education and progress marked in UPE and USE female literay still lags behind according to the UNICEF 2015 report where 49% lag behind compared to 69% of males.

There are many factors that contribute to women and girl´s education in Uganda and to girls dropping out of school. Data from the Ministry of Education and Sports shows that school dropout in the country is higher at the primary level than at secondary level because of lack of interest, pregnancy, early marriages, hidden costs at school and family responsibilities.

Research has found that adolescent pregnancy and early marriage remain two of the main barriers to girls’ education.

According to UNICEF, approximately 35% of girls drop out of school because of early marriage and 23% do so because of early pregnancy (UNICEF, 2015). In Uganda, the teenage pregnancy rate is 24% with regional variations. This increases to 34% in the poorest households. In rural areas 24% of girls experience early pregnancy compared with 16% of wealthier households and 21% of urban girls (UNICEF, 2015).