Voices to affordable sanitary napkins
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GST, a new regime launched across the country is a sign of development of India both in economic and finance sector. GST is a step to make every citizen and businessmen responsible and pay tax so that the Government creates welfare for the society in return.
22 GST council meetings have been held till date to make it more simpler, approachable, and to benefit the consumers.The council has proposed to reduce tax rates for around 60 goods in it's latest meeting held on 06/10/2017 and it is a shame that one of the most essential good (SANITARY NAPKINS) used regularly by half of the citizens of our country is still liable to a whopping rate of 12%.
Only 12% of India's 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins. Over 88% of women resort to shocking alternatives like un-sanitised cloth, ashes and husk sand. Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) is 70% more common among these women. Inadequate menstrual protection makes adolescent girls (age group 12-18 years) miss 5 days of school in a month (50 days a year). Around 23% of these girls actually drop out of school after they started menstruating. The biggest barrier to using a sanitary napkin is affordability. Around 70% of women in India say their family can't afford to buy them.
While sexual healthcare goods such as condoms and contraceptives have been exempted from the purview of GST, is it not the government's responsibility to show the concern for the cleanliness, and hygiene of women also? Or is the government only looking at one more opportunity to grab more revenue out of this essential good too?
Is it not essential that every woman of our nation gets access to better hygiene at an affordable cost?The Government needs to take initiative to reduce not only the taxes but also the prices of sanitary napkins by providing subsidies to manufacturers and cutting down the prices at the base. Women have suffered enough. Lets urge our government to take necessary steps to make every woman in our country afford better hygiene and health. Lets raise our voices for a greater cause.
Please sign our petition and show your support in demanding the government and GST Council to act upon it .
Thank You for your support.
Sharada and Nisha
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