It’s Time to Put a Stop to the Sanitary Tax
Written by Ally Oliver-Perham
According to our government, periods and menstruation is a time of luxurious bliss, wherein each and every pad and tampon is looked upon as a treat, much like a fine chocolate or massage. Sounds a little weird? That’s ‘cos it is.
Did you know: in Australia, women and girls are charged 10% GST (tax) on tampons and pads because those products are seen as non-essential items. I repeat: Non-essential. In other words, according to our government tampons and pads are a luxury, not a necessity.
There are loads of products which are exempt from tax because they are considered so essential to health and well-being. Like sunscreen. Condoms. Personal lubricants. Nicotine patches to help smokers ditch the habit.
All these of things are really important and should be made affordable. But products that help women have healthy, hygienic periods? The government has drawn a line on that one.
We need to tell our Government that having a period is not a lifestyle choice.
We’re so lucky in Australia to have access to pads, tampons, moon cups, and other period related paraphernalia. But that doesn’t mean that we should accept paying more for the products that keep our bodies healthy.
In some parts of the world, women and girls don’t have access to any sanitary items. Instead, they’re forced to use unclean and harmful things like bark or leaves while they have their period, which often leads to infection. In lots of cases, when girls reach puberty and start to menstruate, they will leave school for good. Organisations like One Girl are working hard to turn this around and keep girls in school.
Every girl should have access to hygienic, affordable and safe sanitary products – and she shouldn’t have to pay more than what is absolutely necessary.
There is an undeniable connection between respect for women in our society, and women’s ability to access affordable services and products. The fact that the government charges GST on pads and tampons, by classifying these products as non-essential, shows a clear lack of respect for women, their bodies and their everyday needs.
So how can we change this situation? By making our voices heard.
Sign this petition to take the tax off pads and tampons
Those smart girls over at Tsuno have created a petition to tell our Government that women’s periods are not an opportunity to make profit. Read and sign the petition if you agree that pads and tampons shouldn’t be regarded as a luxury item.
Tsuno says of the petition:
At Tsuno, we’ve tried and tested a period without basic sanitary products. We, like those in developing countries used rags, newspaper, sponges and even attempted to use leaves and bark, and the results were shocking. Thus proving, access to basic sanitary products is ESSENTIAL for all women globally. Read more here.
Tsuno is dedicated to working towards providing the basic necessities globally. Let’s start by getting our essential items recognised at home!
Let’s show our Government that our periods are not a commodity to be profited from, period.
Its time to ask Susan Ley, the Minister for Health of Australia to do what’s ESSENTIAL and Stop the Tampon Tax!
Help us to spread the word that our Periods are not to be taxed. Period.
Join the #Blingonastring challenge
Challenge two friends to sign this petition and turn basic sanitary items into #Blingonastring. Upload a picture on social media and follow the hashtags to find out more. Let’s show our Government just how ‘unessential’ sanitary products can be!
Talk about it – taboo topics create toxic cultures
The most important thing you can do to help shine a light on these issues, is talk about it. It’s cheap, simple and effective. Most people don’t realise things like this are happening, which is why we need to get it out in the open, and put an end to it.
As one of the co-founders of Rosie, a designer and arts educator, Ally is passionate about youth and creativity. She is constantly making, designing and writing things for Rosie. Ally is addicted to podcasts, wasabi peas and red lipstick. Her dog Scout is widely acknowledged as her spirit animal.
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