The new Goods and Services Tax (GST) set to come into effect on July 1, has slapped a tax of 12% on sanitary napkins, which might further limit access to proper menstrual hygiene care for many women in India.
There’s hope from other quarters, however.
An NGO, TEE Foundation, is setting up “Sanitary Pad Banks” in rural schools in tribal areas, since “access to safe and hygienic menstrual products are a basic human right”, not a “luxury”. In an effort to reach out to more women, the sanitary napkins will be available to girls and women at the banks at Rs 7 apiece.
You can help, too: by donating sanitary napkins to TEE’s Mumbai office, or contributing money through their website.
According to “Sanitary Protection: Every Woman’s Health Right”, a study by AC Nielsen, only 12% of India’s 355 million women use sanitary napkins. The lack of appropriate menstrual hygiene products leads to a high risk of cervical cancer,as well as a host of other reproductive health problems.