KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry must gather data on "period poverty" affecting the attendance of female students if help is to be given to them, says Deputy Women, Family and Community Minister Hannah Yeoh.
"This kind of thing should not be happening in Malaysia today.
"No girl should stop school because of period poverty," she told reporters at a press conference in Parliament on Thursday (Nov 28).
Yeoh, however, said that her ministry does not have the numbers of school girls skipping classes due to their inability to afford sanitary pads.
"We are talking to the Education Ministry on this issue.
"On our part, we do not have the data," she said.
With the proper data, Yeoh said that her ministry would be able to better provide help to the affected students.
She was responding to a recent report that there were school girls in Kelantan from poverty-stricken families skipping classes due to period poverty.
The issue was highlighted by Kelantanese businesswoman Zuraidah Daut, 44, who set up "Projek Oh Bulan!" earlier this year to help the affected students after learning of their plight.
Period poverty is defined as the inability of menstruating women to have access to sanitary products and safe, hygienic places in which to use them.