Legal and Child Welfare Head of Renel Ghana, Mr. Kwesi Oyiye, has called for the reduction of taxes on sanitary pads.
He was speaking on Campus Exclusive in recognition of the Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated on the 28th May of every year to raise awareness on menstrual health as a normal life process in females. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030”.
In Ghana however, menstrual hygiene products especially sanitary pads are considered as a luxury product by the government, with a luxury tax of 20% and a Value-Added Tax of 12.5%. This taxing makes it expensive and out of reach for many adolescent girls and women alike to afford an essential need. Many calls were made across the country to remove these taxes to allow females access the products with ease.
Mr. Oyiye called for the reduction of taxes on pads as he described it unfortunate that menstrual pads, which is a basic necessity for girls and women have been classified under goods of luxury, hence attracting exorbitant taxes on them.
“There should be limitation in the imposition of tax on sanitary pads. The reason is that this is a natural phenomenon and the tax on this must be minimal…even the 12.5 % VAT that is slapped on sanitary pads is uncalled for.”
He speculated that imposition of high taxes on sanitary pads has affected the education of female students in some districts in Ghana as they miss school with no proper protection in the event of menstruation.
“In some districts, close to 6 out of every 10 girls cannot afford menstrual pads because it is expensive and girl students are using other methods to protect themselves which in turn are causing some health hazards to these girls. They miss significant learning hours because they feel shy.”
Mr. Oyiye finally emphasized on the importance of the use of menstrual pads in the daily lives of females.
“We all know that shedding blood from girls and women is just a natural phenomenon that nobody has control over. However, in order to present themselves decently, it is important that the menstrual pad is used especially in the course of school and contact or working hours.”
Story by | Akwasi Gyamfi | univers.ug.edu.gh