Musician Becca would be more than happy if Ghana emulates Rwanda’s decision to scrap tax on sanitary pads.
Rwanda, through its Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Tuesday, announced that: “Moving to the right direction, from now onwards, the government of Rwanda has added sanitary pads to a list of goods that are VAT exempted in a bid to ease their affordability.”
This comes a year after South Africa removed the tax on sanitary pads.
Becca reacting to the development wondered when Ghana will take off the 20% tax levy charged on imported sanitary pads.
“Earlier this year, Kenyan government announced free sanitary pads for every school girl. Now, Rwanda just announced tax cut on sanitary pads. Please, when will my government do same?” she asked.
In times past, some individuals and organisations called on the government to remove the tax imposed on imported sanitary pads on the basis that it is making the product inaccessible to poor and vulnerable women and girls across the country.
According to them, the high cost of sanitary pads was making a lot of females use unhygienic materials such as pieces of cloth which could lead to infections if not properly sanitised.
“The sanitary pad has been classified currently as a luxury item and looking at the situation of menstruation, I don’t think it’s anybody’s doing, it’s how women have been created. So, from age nine, nowadays, you can get girls menstruating that early to 40 years and above,” said Zakiya Abdul Wahab, Chief Commissioner of the Ghana Girl Guides Association.
“It is something that we go through on a monthly basis and you can’t consider something like that as luxury knowing that it is sanitary pads that we use mainly during this period to manage ourselves,” she added.
When will my government do this?
Earlier this year, Kenyan government announced free sanitary pads for every school girl. Now, Rwanda just announced tax cut on sanitary pads. Please, when will my government do same? #iMenstruateTooCampaign pic.twitter.com/IH4PiHiYg9
— Becca (@beccafrica) December 12, 2019
In 2017, the Kenyan government announced a policy that provided free sanitary pads to schoolgirls in order to keep them in school.
The policy was estimated at a cost of 500 million shillings ($4.8 million) yearly. It was an expansion on a 2011 programme giving pads to girls from poor families.