Member of Parliament for Madina, lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu, has called on Ghanaians to support his call for the amendment to remove the 15 percent value-added tax (VAT) on menstrual hygiene products.
The lawmaker says the move is a good one and has encouraged civil society groups, chiefs, opinion leaders, and Ghanaians in general to support the proposed bill.
The MP has submitted a private member’s bill proposing an amendment to remove the 15 percent value-added tax (VAT) on menstrual hygiene products.
The proposed bill seeks to amend the VAT (Amendment) Act, 2022 (Act 1082) to remove the VAT on sanitary pads and tampons.
The MP explained that the bill seeks to push for the reclassification of the 20 percent import tax on final consumer goods to zero-rated essential social goods and proscribe future taxation of such essential social goods.
He said girls and women should not face challenges in managing their menstruation.
He lamented that the failure to address the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls could have far-reaching consequences for their basic hygiene, sanitation, and reproductive health.
This he added would ultimately affect the country’s progress towards Sustainable Development Goals one, three, four, five, six, and 10.
“I am encouraging Ghanaians, particularly teachers, chiefs, journalists, and other influential women in Ghana, to support my bill. The tax is not a good tax. We have a duty to have the tax removed. It is a call I encourage everyone to support. This is not about NDC or NPP. This is about ensuring that we remove this discriminatory tax.”
I also encourage Ghanaians to call on their MPs to support this bill. You have a duty to hold your MPs responsible and urge them to support the bill. If, as Ghanaians, we storm parliament and call our MPs and tell them to support the bill, I am hopeful we will be able to deal with the issue and pass the bill before the end of this year.”
The MP in his proposed bill and argument supporting it said “Despite the fact that about a quarter of the world’s population menstruates, 500 million people have been left without access to menstrual hygiene products, leading to period poverty”.
“Period poverty thus refers to the struggle to afford menstrual products, and the increased economic vulnerability menstruating people face due to the financial burden posed by menstrual supplies,” the MP, who is also one of the legislators who sponsored the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which was passed to scrap the death penalty and criminalised accusation of anyone as witchcraft.
“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,” Sosu said.