The Youth Harvest Foundation has joined calls for the government to consider the immediate declassification of sanitary pads as a luxury good.
This declassification would cut down at least 20 per cent of the current cost of sanitary pads.
Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East, the Executive Director of the Youth Harvest Foundation, Albert Apotele was unhappy that under tax classifications in the country, sanitary pads are considered luxury goods.
Mr. Apotele insisted that sanitary pads cannot be considered a luxury good because women cannot choose whether to menstruate or not.
He said the effect of the high cost of sanitary pads can be felt in the rural communities where girls have to miss school, days at a time, because they cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.
“The cost of sanitary pads or towels is a concern to us as development workers. Studies have shown that a lot of girls stay out of school because of menstruation. When they are on their period, they miss school. This is partly so because they are unable to afford sanitary pads to be able to keep themselves confident enough to go to school,” he said.
He continued to say that “studies have shown that, 95 per cent of young girls, when they are in their period stay out of school. Why are they unable to afford sanitary pads? Well, sanitary pads have been classified as luxury goods in Ghana. When you classify goods as luxury goods, what it means is that they are expensive”.
Mr. Apotele explained that when goods are considered luxury, it means that there are not necessary and also have alternative products. He asked, “are we saying that menstruation as women go through, which is a normal vaginal blood flow on monthly basis, is optional? If the answer is yes, then we can say that [the classification of sanitary pads] it is a luxury good. But once there is no option and it is mandatory for women, then it [sanitary pad] is a necessity, it is an essential good”.
The Executive Director for YouthHarvest Foundation said it will continue to liaise with other CSOs and NGOs to call government’s attention to the need to remove the luxury tax component on the prices of sanitary pads.
A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana