Does 12% Tax On Sanitary Napkins Under GST Attest That Menstruation Is Only A Woman’s Issue?

806 Views Updated: 25 May 2017
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Does 12% Tax On Sanitary Napkins Under GST Attest That Menstruation Is Only A Woman’s Issue?

One crimson to show, another red to hide. A custom won, but the necessity died.

Typecast triumphed, and a woman cried. Oh, leaders! Pay no heed, We are angry, still happy to bleed.


(Image Source: Stylist Magazine)

The Indian government seems to have forgotten that an ideal Indian woman bleeds too. But the highest authority on Indian land has undoubtedly taken the famous dialogue of ‘ek chutki sindoor ki keemat tum kya jaano…’ too seriously, scrapping the taxes on the items like sindoor, bindi and kumkum which are optional accessories for the women, under the GST schedule for goods. These elements reinforcing the ‘ideal Indian wife’ brand have been quite affordable and readily available to all, as compared to its weak, yet an essential counterpart that adds value to a woman’s life, a sanitary napkin. This ironic luxury has found its place in the second slab of 12% GST, which gets increased to 14.5% in some Indian states like Rajasthan.


You will be surprised to hear that only 12% of Indian women use sanitary napkins in India. Women in rural India use rags and dirty clothes, which many of you will not even consider for swiping the floor. Some even use straw, dry leaves, sand and newspaper to dry their menstrual fluid. These women are more likely to suffer from Urinary Tract Infections and other dangerous ailments leading to infertility and reproduction issues. Also, why do our leaders fail to reckon that young girls miss their schools during those five days because they can’t roam around showing their stains?


(Image Source: Medical Daily)

Not paying any heed to the requests and pleas of more than ten million women in the country, the Indian government failed to understand the importance of maintaining hygiene during the periods. Having the Aunt Flo is a beautiful, yet quite an excruciating phenomenon and our leaders have just added to the ordeal of menstruating in a patriarchal society.

The Indian Government needs to understand that a clean menstrual condition is what every Indian woman needs. Sanitary napkins are one among a few necessities that would make a woman’s existence honorable. Right?

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