Untax sanitary napkins/tampons currently taxed under GST
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The beginning of this month saw the roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Although it's a good move towards the unification of tax system as well as an attempt towards curbing corruption, there are a few things that do not sit well with some of us.
The government has done a great job by not putting any tax on basic rations, like milk, rice, wheat, fresh vegetables, etc. They've even shown a greater understanding of the poverty and population issue by not taxing condoms and other contraceptives. However, they've lost a chunk of support by taxing sanitary napkins.
Now, it is a universal fact that every woman who has attained puberty menstruates. In our country, 87% of these females have no idea about the biology of menstruation. What's worse, is that only a mere 16% have access to sanitary napkins. So in a country of 586.5 million< women, 84% of women have no access to sanitary napkins. The rural areas are ridden with sanitary problems. 65% people in rural areas have no access to toilets.
Pads/tampons are NOT a luxury. They are a basic necessity in the life of every female. We do not choose to menstruate every month. It's a biological process which is very natural and occurs universally to women. Why should our basic necessity be taxed?
I cannot stress enough how important this is. Women use pieces of cloths to absorb their menstrual blood, and then wash it and re-use it. They also use newspaper, ash, wood shavings, dried leaves, or even cow dung - anything that is cheap and absorbent. If it is not clear enough to you - it is VERY unhygienic. Taxing pads makes them even more inaccessible to those in need. The already appalling statistic of 16% might go even lower.
I genuinely hope that the GST on pads/tampons is given another thought, and hopefully abolished keeping in mind the plight of women, especially those who strive to make ends meet.
Why should being a woman cost more?
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