A 14-year-old schoolgirl in Kenya took her own life after a teacher allegedly embarrassed her for having her period in class.
The girl’s death has prompted protests from female parliamentarians and reignited a national conversation about “period shaming” and access to menstrual products.
The girl’s mother said her daughter was found dead last Friday after she got her period during class and stained her clothes. Her teacher allegedly called her “dirty” and expelled her from the classroom in Kabiangek, west of Nairobi.
It was the girl’s first period, her mother told local media, and she did not have a sanitary pad.
The incident has cast a spotlight on a 2017 law requiring Kenya’s government to distribute free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls. Poor implementation of the law is the subject of a parliamentary investigation.
On Wednesday, female MPs “laid siege” to the education ministry to protest about the girl’s death and discuss the programme, MP Esther Passaris wrote on Twitter.