Friday, 23 February

'Stop taxing our blood': Female NDC MPs give gov’t a month to scrap sanitary pad tax

General News
The Ada MP implored the government to, within one month, work on the elimination of import duties on both imported and locally manufactured sanitary pads

Opposition female parliamentarians want the government to scrap all taxes on sanitary pads in the country in order to make it free for all girls and women.

The female MPs have, thus, given government a one-month ultimatum to scrap all taxes on sanitary pads.

Speaking to the parliamentary press corps, the minority female MPs led by Deputy Minority Whip, Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, in collaboration with market women and women representatives from the City Campus of the University of Ghana Students' Representative Council (SRC), made a passionate plea for accessible and affordable menstrual hygiene products.

The Ada MP emphasised the crucial importance of making sanitary pads affordable for all women and girls, categorising them as a fundamental necessity for health, dignity, and access to education. 

The call for the elimination of import duties and Value Added Tax is rooted in the belief that financial barriers should not deny anyone their basic human right to menstrual hygiene.

The Ada MP implored the government to, within one month, work on the elimination of import duties on both imported and locally manufactured sanitary pads, a waiver of Value Added Tax on sanitary pads to enhance accessibility and affordability, especially in marginalised communities to ensure equal access.

“Countries are sharing this sanitary pads for students free of charge, others have set aside 3 million a year for these sanitary pads. We can do better than that for our children, we can do better than that for our women".

“We’re just giving the government 1month to come to the house and amend what he put in the budget statement otherwise we’ll advise ourselves.”

She noted that condoms are tax-free but are not mandatory and do not need to be acquired at “all cost”, hence the government must stop taxing sanitary pads, which are a necessity for women who are menstruating because it is a natural phenomenon.

“They should stop taxing our blood,” the Ada MP stressed. 

The Treasurer of the City Campus SRC of the University of Ghana, Abigail Mason, also highlighted the possibility of acquiring menstrual pads with the Ghana card. 

Her submission is on the back of the Vice President Dr. Bawumia’s promise of using the Ghana card to get access to cars.

The Ada MP had said all women in Ghana deserve to have equal access to menstrual pads.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday, 27 November 2023, the Ada MP, who reiterated that some women in Ghana are unable to afford sanitary pads during their period, said the government must make menstrual pads freely available to women who cannot afford to buy them.

Explaining the ordeal of women in rural areas who do not practice proper menstrual hygiene due to their inability to afford sanitary pads, the Ada MP noted that most of them have to resort to the use of foreign materials including pieces of red cloth, which they wash and reuse several times, mostly drying them in their rooms as they cannot dry them outside.

She indicated that this practice causes infection, as they do not practice proper menstrual hygiene, which later develops into “candidiasis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, infertility and blockage of tube.”

The Ada MP, therefore, urged the government to work to ensure that all women across the country, particularly rural communities, regardless of their economic status, have equal access to sanitary pads.

According to her, all women “deserve this.” 

She stated: “All that we’re crying for us, women, is we all deserve this, as our children use this, we’re crying for the poor, for the rural or the farmers or the rural communities who cannot afford this, to get it free of charge from the government.”

“Mr Speaker we’re pleading we’re crying…” the Ada East MP appealed.

Source: Adiku