Gov't urged to make sanitary pads accessible to all devoid of economic status -Ada MP
Ms. Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ada, has urged the government to work to ensure that women across the country, especially, rural communities, regardless of their economic status, have equal access to sanitary pads.
Date Created : 11/30/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Elsie Appiah-Osei/Ghanadistricts.com
She said: "All women deserve this."
Ms. Cudjoe, also the Deputy Minority Whip, addressing the Press in Parliament on Wednesday, called on the government to scrap all taxes on sanitary pads in the country to make them free for girls and women.
"All that we are crying for women, is we all deserve this, as our children use this, we are crying for the poor, the farmers or the rural communities who cannot afford this, to get it free of charge from the government," she said.
Leading some female MPs, market women and female students from the University of Ghana City Campus to make the call, the group gave the government a one-month ultimatum to scrap all taxes on sanitary pads.
She also appealed for accessible and affordable menstrual hygiene products.
Ms. Cudjoe told the Press that the affordability and availability of sanitary pads were a fundamental necessity for health, dignity, and access to education.
"We are just giving the government one month to come to the House and amend what he put in the budget statement otherwise we will advise ourselves.
"They should stop taxing our blood," she said.
Ms. Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the NDC MP for Ketu South, appealed to the government to work on the elimination of import duties on both imported and locally manufactured sanitary pads, adding that a waiver of Value Added Tax on sanitary pads would enhance accessibility and affordability, especially in marginalised communities to ensure equal access.
"Countries are sharing these sanitary pads for students free of charge, others have set aside 3 million a year for these sanitary pads. We can do better than that for our children, we can do better than that for our women," she said.
The call for the elimination of import duties and Value Added Tax is rooted in the belief that financial barriers should not deny anyone their basic human right to menstrual hygiene.
Ms. Laadi Ayii Ayamba, an NDC MP for Pusiga, explained the ordeal of women in rural areas who did not practice proper menstrual hygiene due to their inability to afford sanitary pads.
She said most of them had to resort to the use of foreign materials that mostly caused the infection, as they did not practice proper menstrual hygiene, which later developed into “candidiasis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, infertility and blockage of the tube.”
Meanwhile, the government announced a zero-rated Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally-produced sanitary pads for five years in the Budget Statement and Economic Policy delivered by Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance to Parliament on Wednesday, November 15 , 2023.