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Girls & Women

Obama takes on the tampon tax

Denise Reck, WASH United in May 2015

Tampon: an indispensable product that a woman needs to use for a week each month, for around 30 years of her life.

What part of that definition suggests luxury? Because governments around the world tax tampons as luxury items. They tax “an indispensable product” as a luxury.

Fortunately, this might soon come to an end. 

POTUS Takes on the Tampon Tax:

On Friday, President Obama acknowledged the existence (and absurdity) of this luxury tax that exists in 40 US states. His conclusion: the world is run by men.

"I suspect it's because men were making the laws when these taxes were passed..." 

...with the exception of Canada, whose lawmakers are a half year ahead of the curve. 

Read the date? June 2015oh Canada, oh Canada…

Tax Breakdown Worldwide:

Let’s address this again, Aunt Flo’s visit is obviously luxurious, right? 

Well, these nations think so:

1) Australia:

As of August 2015, sanitary products are still taxed an additional 10% under Australia’s Goods & Services tax.  Thank you Mr. Hockney 

2) United States:

40 out of 50 US states (don’t get too excited, Maryland, Massachusetts and Minnesota are the only ones that have rejected this tax, the rest don’t have a sales tax) impose this tax on top of the more than 70 USD that women spend on sanitary products yearly

A photo posted by Renee (@nekoluvr85) on

3) UK:

David Cameron is currently “having a look” at removing the sanitary tax. What's taking him so long? The UK originally taxed tampons at 17.5% in 1973, and while that has dropped to 5% in 2000 the whole thing isridic. 

4) Slovakia:

Buy your tampons here, get taxed 20%. There is currently no motion to remove this goods and services tax.

via GIPHY

Take Action:

Menstruation will forever be a monthly occurance for girls and women. We, as women, need these satinary products. In places across the world, girls and women on their period are denied their opportunity to attend school, work and even pray alongside of men because of product cost, access and the stigma associated with menstruation. Unless united action is taken these tampon taxes will only continue to disenfranchise women. 

Be a Leader: 

News sources speculate that Obama’s stance against the tampon tax will catalyze other US states to drop it. Social media is once again  galvanizing other national leaders such as David Cameron, to follow suit. Interested in adding your voice?

Go to TAKE ACTION NOW and call on world leaders to prioritize gender equality. Because having a tampon considered a luxury is definitely a sign of inequality.