Women demand tax Justice on International Women’s Day

A campaign to end tax injustice against women started on Wednesday through the collaborative effort of ActionAid Ghana, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and partner organisations around the globe.

The movement dubbed #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights Global Days of Action, would see women, girls and their allies call on governments to fulfill their commitment to securing women’s rights and economic equality by taking action for tax justice .

It would also call on the government to maximise available resources to invest in quality, gender-responsive public services, the care economy, and social protection.

The group would also call on the government to establish an inclusive intergovernmental UN Global Tax body where all countries would have a seat at the table and equal say in determining international tax rules.

In a statement to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Benjamin Kwesi Tawiah, the Communications and Public Relations Manager for ActionAid Ghana, expressed concern about the discriminatory global, regional and national tax policies that threaten the rights of women and girls around the world.

“Women account for the majority of the world’s poor, yet current tax policies is generally not beneficial to them.

“In Ghana, current laws and practices enable multinational corperations and the very rich, in many cases, to get away with not paying their fair share of tax. This denies government budget of a key source of funding for public services, such as healthcare, education and clean water, which was critical to realising women’s rights and gender equality,” he said.

Mr Tawiah said that Ghana loses $2.27billion every year to tax incentives granted to multinational companies who invest in the country.

“Meanwhile, such monies could have been used to fund public services such as the establishment of pre-school facilities to reduce the burden of child care and create opportunities for women in rural and urban areas to participate in economic activities.

He said the country had also raised the rates of tax on consumer goods to compensate for revenues lost through cuts to tax rates for corporations and the wealthy elite which placed an unfair tax burden on women as they spent a larger portion of their income to buy basic goods.

Mr Tawiah stated that tax justice was vital to providing public services that could help reduce violence against women and girls, provide universal access to public healthcare, ensure quality public education for more girls, support women’s economic equality and reduce their unpaid care work.

“Therefore the group would call on the government to raise taxes in the most progressive way possible such as direct taxation of income, wealth, and high net worth individuals as well as ensuring that multinational corporations pay their share’’, he said.

He said, other recommendation would call on government to carry out tax impact assessments especially on the poorest women.

“The government should also ensure that national and regional tax and financial secrecy policies do not contribute to large-scale tax abuse in other countries or are biased towards wealthy countries, corporations, and the wealthy elite‘’, he said.

Source : GNA

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