Humiliated after period shaming, Kenyan girl commits suicide

Jackline Chepngeno, 14, did not understand what was happening to her body and her embarrassment after a teacher scolded her led her to take her own life

A general view of the basic condtions in a classroom at the Moses Tanui Primary School on February 20, 2007 in Eldoret, Kenya. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)

A girl in Kenya took her own life after her teacher period-shamed her and kicked her out of class after bleeding through her pants.

The student, Jackline Chepngeno, 14, was in class at a school in the southwestern region of the Kabiangek region in Kenya. Her mother, Beatrice Koech, said Sept. 6 was the first day the girl got her period and did not have a sanity pad available to her leading to bleeding through her pants.

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After she received her period, Chepngeno was ridiculed by her teacher and was called “dirty.” Female classmates said she was confused by the onset of her menstrual cycle, which caused her trouble in concentration and attracted the attention of the teacher, herself a woman, who embarrassed her in front of her classmates.

“She had nothing to use as a pad. When the blood stained her clothes, she was told to leave the classroom and stand outside,” Koech said to The Daily Nation.

Chepngeno walked home and alerted her mother of the incident before heading to a nearby water source, then killing herself.

“When police arrived at the scene, they found the girl had committed suicide using a leso and the body was moved to Kapkatet Hospital mortuary,” said Konoin Sub-County Police Commander Alex Shikondi.

A protest was held Wednesday at the Ministry of Education by female members of Parliament after the death.

“Together with fellow Women MPs, we’ve laid siege at the Ministry of Education in protest of the 14 year old girl who committed suicide after a female teacher publicly ridiculed her for soiling her clothes with her periods,” MP Esther Passaris tweeted.

Additional protests occurred outside of the school with over 200 parents in demand for punishment for the teacher. The protest was ended by tear gas sent into the crowd, five arrests also were recorded. The school is temporarily closed.

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The nation of Kenya is aiming to assist female students who are beginning to experience periods. in 2017, a law was passed to provide free menstrual products to students, however, the program has not been fully executed and was not rolled out to the girl’s school.