A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Girls Excellence Movement is calling on the government to slash tax on sanitary pads to make that essential product available and affordable for girls regardless of their socio-economic background.
According to the group, the inability of some families to afford sanitary pads for girls hinders the education of those who are forced to skip school sometimes whenever they have their period.
Presently, a 20% tax levy is charged on imported sanitary pads because sanitary pads are categorised as luxury products by the Ghana Revenue Authority.
The Executive Director of the group, Juliana Ama Kplorfia said “due to the increasing cost of sanitary pads, some girls; especially those in rural areas and from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, resort to using absorbents such as dirty rags, cotton wool, leaves and paper. Aside the fact that the neatness of these absorbents cannot be guaranteed and could cause diseases and infections to girls, most often they leak and soil their uniforms. The embarrassment girls face as a result of soiling their uniforms during their periods causes them to miss school.”
She revealed that slashing tax on sanitary pads will help improve school attendance.
Miss Kplorfia said if the government could supply free condoms to Ghanaians who celebrated their Easter festivity at Kwahu, then it should be possible for them to slash the 20% tax on sanitary pads.
She said currently they are collecting signatures to push in Parliament because the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison has promised to push their agenda in Parliament.
She believes that the situation of high cost of sanitary pads has accounted for organisations in Ghana donating to girls; especially those in deprived societies as a way to encourage girls attendance and participation in school activities during their menses.
Miss Kplorfia made these statements when speaking to Adom News during the launch of the Foundation.