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General News of Monday, 24 August 2020


Tax exemption on sanitary pad: Don’t let this be a nine-day wonder – NGO to govt

Sanitary products. File photo Sanitary products. File photo

Following government’s announcement of a proposed tax exemption on all imported sanitary products in Ghana, Gender Advocacy NGO, Bridge for Equity Ghana, has tasked government to fulfil its promise when given the mandate come December 7, 2020.

The Vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Sunday, August 22, 2020, revealed that the New Patriotic Party government will ensure that the 20 percent tax on sanitary products is removed when re-elected into office.

“We will eliminate import duties on sanitary pads to improve health conditions, particularly for girls. It is very important." He added that "what we intend doing is to make sure we produce sanitary pads in Ghana until that happens in their numbers, we are going to eliminate import duties to bring down their cost.”

Meanwhile, the founder of Bridge for Equity, an NGO that creates awareness on the SDGs through Gender Education, Child Protection and Skills Training for Employment, Lilipearl Baaba Otoo, has charged the government to fulfil their campaign promise when given the nod by Ghanaians in the December polls to address the challenges on periods.

“It cannot be just a political promise. They must fulfil it…we are not just campaigning for the taxes to be removed. We are also advocating for locally produced sanitary pads. It will have an impact on the accessibility and affordability of the product.”

In June 2020, the NGO presented a 24-paged petition document to the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison. The ‘No Pad Tax’ campaign intensified the calls for the government to consider scrapping the tax on the sanitary pads which is considered as a luxury product by the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Speaking to GhanaWeb, the founder of Bridge for Equity Ghana noted that government’s promise was a step in the right direction as it will cut down on the cost of sanitary pads to provide support to young girls who face several challenges during their period.

“Ghana hasn’t seen the challenges that young girls go through as a problem. Nothing has been done. Now we are looking forward to the implementation (tax exemption) because when you go to these deprived communities, you will be shocked at what these girls use in their period… they use plantain leaves, rags. People do all sort of things just to make sure that they are comfortable at that time of the month. Some of them don’t go to school, it is the reality on the ground.”