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Scrap sanitary pad taxation- CSOs to gov’t

Afripads, handed out in a kit that includes a carrying case, are credited with making girls feel comfortable coming to school when they have their period.

Scrap sanitary pad taxation- CSOs to gov’t

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) against sanitary pad taxation has called on government to halt the taxation on sanitary pad in order to Improve Menstrual Hygiene and Quality of Life for All Girls in Ghana.

In a statement signed and issued by the Coalition stated that “as the world commemorate the International Day of the Girl, the coalition therefore call on the Ministry of Finance to end the longstanding taxes on sanitary pads against adolescent girls and women in Ghana”.

“The Government of Ghana presently charges a luxury tax of 20% and an additional 12.5% VAT on sanitary pads. The fact that this tax is directly targeted at females for a natural occurrence in their reproductive process they have no choice or control over makes the tax highly unjust and immoral”, the Coalition noted.

The statements further said the choice of whether to keep clean and safe or not is one that a state should never have to present to its people, particularly to the vulnerable sections of society.

It again noted that taxes on sanitary pads have made the product very expensive and inaccessible to many low-income households who must choose between the pads and competing needs. According to UNESCO, most girls are absent from school for four (4) days in a month and end up losing 13 learning days equivalent in every school term.

Also it said, in an academic year of nine months, a girl loses 39 learning days equivalent to six weeks of learning time due to the lack of sanitary pads. This situation has dire consequences for life outcomes for girls.

“This is why we are passionate about this issue – because any policy that discriminately pushes a section of its population into poverty has no place in an inclusive and democratic state”, the statement stated.

The Coalition therefore appealed to the Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, to add his voice to urge the Finance Ministry to remedy this injustice in the forthcoming 2022 budget expected to be presented to Parliament in November 2021.

Below is the full statement from the Coalition

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release
Monday, October 11, 2021

A Call to #StopTheSanitaryPadsTax to Improve Menstrual Hygiene and Quality of Life for All Girls in Ghana.

As the world commemorate the International Day of the Girl, we, member organisations of the Coalition of CSOs against Sanitary Pads Taxation do with one voice call on the Ministry of Finance to end the longstanding taxes on sanitary pads against adolescent girls and women in Ghana.

The Government of Ghana presently charges a luxury tax of 20% and an additional 12.5% VAT on sanitary pads. The fact that this tax is directly targeted at females for a natural occurrence in their reproductive process they have no choice or control over makes the tax highly unjust and immoral. The choice of whether to keep clean and safe or not is one that a state should never have to present to its people, particularly to the vulnerable sections of society.

The taxes on sanitary pads have made the product very expensive and inaccessible to many low-income households who must choose between the pads and competing needs. According to UNESCO, most girls are absent from school for four (4) days in a month and end up losing 13 learning days equivalent in every school term. In an academic year of nine months, a girl loses 39 learning days equivalent to six weeks of learning time due to the lack of sanitary pads. This situation has dire consequences for life outcomes for girls. This is why we are passionate about this issue – because any policy that discriminately pushes a section of its population into poverty has no place in an inclusive and democratic state.

Fortunately, though action is yet to be taken, successive governments have recognized the harmful nature and effect of this policy on the health and dignity of females. His Excellency, The Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stated last year that the government “will eliminate import duties on sanitary pads to improve health conditions, particularly for girls.

It is very important. What we intend doing is to make sure we produce sanitary pads in Ghana
until that happens in their numbers, we are going to eliminate import duties to bring down their cost,” – Citi News, 22nd August 2020

We call on the Vice President to again add his voice to urge the Finance Ministry to remedy this injustice in the forthcoming 2022 budget expected to be presented to Parliament in November 2021.

Ghana can and should follow the example of Kenya which cancelled taxes on sanitary pads as far back as 2004 and which has since been budgeting about 3M USD per year to distribute free sanitary pads in lowincome communities. Since then, Rwanda and South Africa have also cancelled sanitary pads taxes.

On the occasion of the 2021 International Day of the Girl, we call on the Ministry of Finance to #StopTheSanitaryPadsTax.

Thank You.

Signed:

Coalition of CSOs against Sanitary Pads Taxation Members

1. Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)
2. Revenue Mobilisation Africa (RMA)
3. Africa Education Watch
4. Renel Ghana
5. Muslim Family Counselling Services

6. Sung Foundation
7. Greater Accra Youth Network
8. Alliance of Feminine CSOs
9. Girls Not Bride Ghana
10. Global Media Foundation
11. Africa Civil Society Alliance on Child Rights
12. Center for Youth Analysis
13. Ghana Education Forum
14. Ghana TVET Coalition

For interviews, please contact
Beauty Emefa Narteh
Executive Secretary, GACC
Tel: +233 244080921

Geoffery Ocansey
Executive Director, RMA
Tel: +233 244766549

Nelson Richardson-Mandela
Executive Director, Renel Ghana Foundation
Tel: +233 245520682

Ralph Ahenu
Executive Director, Global Media Foundation
Tel: +233 559748367

Faustina Djabatey
Communication Officer, GACC
Tel: +233 54 032 6471

Source: africaneditors.com/Eric Nii Sackey

Scrap sanitary pad taxation- CSOs to gov't

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