Could you still cycle whilst on your period without a tampon, moon cup or sanitary towel? In fact, could you be effective in the workplace, when looking after your children, or just going about your daily life?
The UK government still sees sanitary products as “non-essential,” meaning we pay a 5% tax on them – whilst men’s razors, incontinence pads, crocodile stakes, edible sugar flowers and helicopters are all exempt from UK tax.
Because everyone (or at least, those setting the tax) needs to be stubble free when eating exotic meats and delicate cake toppings in the sky.
Thankfully one campaign to lift the tax has been successful, and from 1 July women in Canada will no longer pay tax on sanitary items.
The campaign to kill the ‘period tax’ is now worldwide, with women in Australia appalled that condoms and lube are considered ‘essential’, when sanitary items are not.
There’s also a similar petition calling for the government to supply sanitary products to homeless shelters, where they already give out condoms. As necessary as the latter may be, a woman doesn’t ever choose to engage in menstruation.
Laura Clayton is the campaigner behind the UK petition, which has 237,953 signatures. She explains: “Sanitary products control and manage menstruation. They are essential because without them, those who menstruate would have no way of pursuing a normal, flexible, public or private life and would be at risk of jeopardising their health”.
When asked why no reduction had been made by the UK government, David Cameron explained that it was “quite difficult” because the tax falls within the EU’s remit.
Do you think sanitary products should be ‘non-essential’, or are you signing the petition?