Dear Ghana Government, Don't Tax My Period!!!

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Dear Mr. President,

Period Matters would like to bring to your notice an injustice embedded in the 20% import tax and 12.5% VAT levied on Sanitary Pads in Ghana under the HS Code 9619001000 of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Women and girls of this great country have been subjected to this injustice for a long time; it is time for change.


Menstruation is the normal expulsion of blood through the vagina of every female from memarche to menopause. As such, menstrual hygiene products, used to collect the blood should be classified as essential items.


There are more reasons why the taxes should be waived. Below are a few of them:


1. Menstruation, like breathing, is a normal body process. One thing women can't change is their period. It requires that we buy products, like tampons and sanitary pads monthly. We cannot decide to stop buying them and continue like it's business as usual while our bodies ruin our clothes.  A necessity should not attract tax.


2.  Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey once said, " if you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a whole nation."

One too many girls have no access to sanitary pads when they menstruate. They are forced to resort to less hygienic alternatives like dirty rags, leaves, news paper pages, old socks, sands or free flowing. This increases their risk of infections, as women already have a high risk of urinary tract infections, due to their short urethras. 

Some girls miss school between 3 to 5 days every month, due to no fault of theirs, totalling 10 to 20% of every academic year. 

How do we hope to educate the whole nation when the girl child is not educated?

This, coupled with the stigma, myths and misconceptions of Periods has greatly affected the academics of girls forcing them to drop out of school. 

3. Girls and women from both low and high income classes are unable to buy sanitary products due to the 20% import tax and VAT imposed on them.

Menstrual products, which are supposed to be changed at least 4 times a day are changed every 24 hours. This is unhygienic and predisposes women to moderate to fatal infections and complications like Toxic Shock Syndrome. 

It is therefore a grave injustice against females to categorize Sanitary products as luxury items.

In conclusion, Mr. President, girls and women deserve better. It would do a lot of good if the GRA accordingly exempts them from all forms of taxes and distributed freely in most institutions. 

We, a group of young women and men who have come together to demand for the removal of the 20% luxury tax and 12.5%VAT, seek that you use your office to remove this tax that has been keeping Ghanaian women in period poverty for a long time.

To the CSO's, we need your assistance to win against this injustice meted against Ghanaian women across the country.