Madam Enam Gomashie, the Women’s Commissioner (WOCOM) of the Tertiary Educational Institutions Network of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the University of Mines and Technology (UMAT), has reiterated the call on the Government to scrap taxes on sanitary pads to make them affordable for the average Ghanaian woman.
The Commissioner said sanitary pads were a major avenue of ensuring menstrual hygiene, hence the need to make it accessible and affordable to ensure good healthcare for females.
“In marking Menstrual Hygiene Day, we join calls for the taxes on sanitary pads to be scrapped so the product is made affordable,” she stated.
In a press statement made available to the Ghana News Agency, Madam Gomashie said menstrual hygiene must be prioritised to protect the wellbeing of women.
She said it was rather unfortunate that recent happenings in the country had made menstrual hygiene a difficulty and an issue of luxury for most women and young girls, saying: “This increment in the cost of the sanitary pads is significantly due to the excruciating taxes placed on the product.”
The statement said Dr. Bawumia, in 2020 promised Ghanaians during the Manifesto Launch of the NPP that the government would eliminate import duty taxes on sanitary pads to improve health conditions particularly for girls and said: “This promise turns out to be another political gimmick by the Vice President.”
It said the import duty tax on sanitary pads had been increased by 20 percent instead of eliminating it.
The statement also indicated that aside from the increment in import duty tax, Value Added Tax had also been increased significantly.
It said some young girls were unable to access quality education as their male peers and some women were unable to live healthy lives due to poor menstrual hygiene arising from the unaffordable nature of sanitary pads.
The statement stressed that, “with this trend festering day after day, Ghana’s chances of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4 and 5 are getting increasingly slimmer.
“As an intellectual fraternity made of exuberant young people of, which females are an integral part, we wish to relay to the Government that women cannot continue paying taxes for menstruating,” it said.
The statement appealed to the Government to work with local manufacturers to produce good quality sanitary pads, which would come at lower rates.