Speaking at the commemoration of the Menstrual Hygiene Day, organized by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and partners, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms. Sarah Adwoa Safo said her Ministry has sent a proposal for a tax waiver on sanitary products to Parliament for consideration.
According to Ms. Sarah Adwoa Safo, should the proposal be approved, women and girls will have access to sanitary materials at lower prices during their menstrual cycles, thereby saving them some cost.
Ms. Sarah Adwoa Safo further reiterated her ministry’s commitment and the government’s commitment to ensuring that both women and girls have sustainable access to sanitary products and improved toilet facilities to manage their periods. She noted that through the ‘He4She’ initiative, her Ministry was championing the cause of women’s rights which includes menstrual health and hygiene by males.
“For instance, through our He4She initiative, we have boys leading the advocacy for girls’ rights and privileges in schools,” she said.
Should the tax waiver on sanitary products be approved by parliament, Ghana will join the likes of Namibia and the United Kingdom in providing affordable access to sanitary products. The UK began 2021 by eliminating a 5% Value Added Tax on women’s sanitary products which are often referred to as “Tampon Tax.”
On March 17, the Namibian government also waivered a 15% of Value-Added Tax (VAT) on sanitary products. The tax waiver will, however, take effect in the 2022/2023 financial year.
“I wish to announce this to enhance affordability by the girl child and urge suppliers and retailers to pass on this relief to consumers once enacted,” said the Namibian Finance Minister, Iipumbu Shiimi.
About Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day, an initiative by the German non-profit WASH United in 2013 is an annual awareness day occurring on May 28 to shine a light on the importance of good menstrual hygiene.
MH Day is also “a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to promote good menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) for all women and girls,” a piece of information on their website reads.
The theme for this year’s World Menstrual Hygiene Day was: ‘Action and Investment in Menstrual Hygiene and Health.’