Think it’s unfair that in many countries women pay a 'tampon tax' on sanitary products which are considered ‘luxury items’ while crisps and incontinence pads aren’t?
Ever wondered why we ignore the fact that 50% of the population is in pain or discomfort every month without doing any substantial medical research into preventing it?
Worried for the 500 million women and girls around the world who don’t have access to basic facilities during their period – and who are more likely to drop out of education as a result?
Well, it may be slow but change is coming. We are one step closer to #menstrualequity as a result of New York’s recent news. Last Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning the ‘tampon tax’. It means that tampons, sanitary pads and panty liners will be exempt from state and local taxes – saving women an estimated $10 million a year. Another reason to NYC.
The tax has been in place since 1965 – so we say it's about time too. The bill’s sponsor, Linda B Rosenthal said, “Women statewide will no longer be burdened by a lingering tax that was levied at a time when women were not part of government and the decision-making process.”
The Big Apple is becoming a real trailblazer for #menstrualequity. Earlier this month it also became the first city in America to offer free menstrual products in schools, prisons and shelters, when mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation that will come into effect later this year.
However, there is still more to be done. The tax remains in 39 US states although California and Illinois are both considering a ban. In Utah the ban was voted down, by – surprise surprise – an all male panel. There are still millions of girls and women around the world without access to hygienic facilities during their period. Let's keep talking, campaigning and taking direct action – until we reach #menstrualequity for everyone.
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