National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu has proposed a bill to Parliament to remove the 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on sanitary pads to make them affordable.
In an attached memo to the proposed bill, the MP cum human rights lawyer pointed to the challenges faced by women and young girls during their menstrual cycles as the reason for the proposal.
Citing authoritative sources, he indicated that scraping off the tax would not only mitigate the costs of the products and problems associated with poor menstrual hygiene but that their exorbitant nature which makes them inaccessible to many constituted a violation of rights.
“Imposing taxes on sanitation pads which is as a result of their menstrual cycle which is a natural phenomenon is unfair, discriminatory and violates both national law (Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution) and various international laws and treaties such as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Articles 24(1) and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on Rights of Children, and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women, among others,” he indicated.
In addition, the bill seeks to change the classification of the 20% import tariff on consumer goods to zero-rated for essential social goods and calls for the prevention of any future taxation of such indispensable social items.