The lawmaker for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu has presented a draft bill to Parliament calling on the government to scrap the 20 percent luxury tax and the 15 percent Value Added Tax on sanitary pads to make them affordable.
The proposed bill seeks to amend the VAT (Amendment) Act, 2022 (Act 1082) to remove the VAT on sanitary pads and tampons.
It will also push for the reclassification of the 20 percent import tax on final consumer goods to zero-rated essential social goods and proscribe future taxation of such essential social goods.
Justifying the introduction of the bill in a memorandum accompanying the bill, Sosu said globally many women and girls faced challenges in managing their menstruation.
The NDC MP explained that menstrual hygiene management (MHM) was defined as the practice of using clean materials to absorb menstrual blood that can be changed privately, safely, hygienically, and as often as needed for the duration of the menstrual cycle.
The removal of the taxes would lead to the elimination of period poverty in Ghana.
Currently in Ghana, the high cost of sanitary pads has compelled some young women to resort to the use of untreated fabrics and tissues, with consequences for their health.
Available data in the country indicates that 9 out of 10 girls regularly miss school during their periods. 44 to 54 percent of school girls in the Northern Region use reusable clothes to collect menstrual blood due to a lack of access and funds to buy a disposable sanitary pad.
Prior to the 2020 general elections, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, promised that the next administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will remove import duties on sanitary pads.
The move, he said is geared towards reducing its market price, encouraging usage, and promoting personal hygiene and health for all women, especially girls.