In India, protests erupted against the government's plan regarding taxation of products for women.
Sanitary pads are installed under a tax of 12% in accordance with the new set of national rates established by the government. Thousands of people are saying that the collection must be equal to zero.
The new rates, published a week ago, are part of a massive restructuring of the tax code of India. The tax on goods and services tax (GST) is designed to simplify the complex web of state levies in India by assigning each commodity a single national tax rate. Some basic products will not be taxed as part of the plan, including condoms and contraceptives. The protesters wonder why sanitary pads are also not exempt from tax.
A petition demanding that women's sanitary products were tax-exempt, has signed more than 300 thousand people. Thousands of others, including some celebrities, joined another viral campaign, making the same demands. The campaign is called #LahuKaLagaan - which means "the tax to blood". The campaign was launched by a group of SheSays, which aims to end discrimination on grounds of sex.
The Indian Finance Ministry did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Sanitary pads, which cost five rupees ($0,08) to 12 rupees ($0.20 for each), currently are taxed at different rates. In some States, the rate can reach up to 14.5%.
This makes them inaccessible to millions of impoverished rural women.
2011 survey by research firm Nielsen showed that only 12% Indian women use sanitary pads.
The Indian government still has the ability to change tax rates before 1 July. If this happens, India will join Ireland, Kenya and Canada to become one of the few countries that have made the hygienic goods tax-free.
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