Persons with Disability advocates tax-free regime for sanitary pads
Some Persons with Disability (PwDs) in Wa have launched a campaign with a call on the government to scrap all the taxes on sanitary pads as a measure to reduce the cost of menstrual hygiene in young women, especially PWDs.
Students at the Wa Methodist School for the Blind launched the campaign dubbed: “Zero Taxes on Sanitary Pads” with support from Plan International Ghana through the Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD) Ghana under the She Leads project.
A communiqué issued by the student group “Industrious Ladies” during a brief ceremony to launch the campaign said: “Prices of sanitary pads are unreasonably high now. Sanitary pads should not be seen as a luxury but a necessity for all ladies.”
Currently, a pack of sanitary pad ranges from Gh₵17.00 to Gh₵20.00 and a person may require at least a pack every month to manage her mensuration.
In a message on his behalf, Dr. Alhassan Rashid Pelpuo, the Member of Parliament for the Wa Central Constituency, observed that sanitary pads were necessities that needed to be accessible to every woman or girl irrespective of her economic status.
He said the rise of the Dollar against the Cedi currency should not be enough grounds to deny girls, especially PwDs of menstrual hygiene.
“This should not be an issue of politics. Government and stakeholders should be able to support persons with disability to access sanitary pads”, Dr. Pelpuo intimated.
Miss Judith Leebon, the leader of the “Industrious Ladies” group, who presented the communiqué, observed that good menstrual hygiene was a necessity for every adolescent girl and more importantly for PwDs due to the stigma they faced.
“Girls and young women with disabilities face higher risks of violence, stigma, discrimination, as well as inadequate social support towards their menstrual hygiene”, she said.
The communiqué called on private industries and sanitary pad production factories in the country to donate a percentage of every purchase made of sanitary pads towards supporting girls and young women living with disability who genuinely could not afford the essential products.
It said girls’ difficulty in accessing sanitary pads was a development gap and called on the MP for Wa Central Constituency Dr. Rashid Pelpuo to initiate debate on “Zero Tax on Sanitary Pad” in parliament for possible passage into law to facilitate inclusive development policy.
It also called on the media to double its efforts in sensitising the public to stop stigmatising PwDs and to identify and develop their potential.
“Educate parents to prioritize the needs of persons with disability including the provision of sanitary pads for our menstrual hygiene”, the communiqué added.
Madam Benedicta Dawson-Amoah, of the Plan International Ghana on the She Leads project, observed that the life aspirations of PwDs could be achieved if they received the needed support to develop their potentials.
Miss Leenat Abdul Rahaman, the Executive Director of CARD Ghana, noted that the “Zero Tax on Sanitary Pad” campaign formed part of the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed on December 3 annually.
She said her organisation observed the day on the theme: “Zero Tax on Sanitary Pads for Inclusive Development” as against the global theme: “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”.