Sadly, despite of the entire hullabaloo about women protection and safety, the finance department failed to understand the basic hygiene need for women. The unpardonable high prices of the sanitary napkins are a considerable add on to the monthly expenses of women in the nation. Certainly, the menstrual process is natural but the addition of the “insane tax” to its cost is not.
Sadly, this is the time when more than 70% women population in the country does not believe in spending money on sanitary napkins. They use their self-discovered means of protection like old cloth, sand, wood shavings, ash, dried leaves, newspaper and even hay or plastic. Palpably, they just try to get through those 5 days of hassle and filth even if it may cause them cervical cancer.
Neither do they care about themselves, nor do the Indian tax policies.
Despite of all these worldly discussions, the famous online campaign #LahuKaLagaan attracted much of the mass attention. Many philanthropists like Anu Menon, Aditi Rao Hydari, Cyrus Broacha, Kaneez Surka, Girliyapa have showed their concern over this and tweeted on the matter.
They urged the finance minister Arun Jaitley to make the sanitary napkins tax free as the sanitary napkins are not luxury items but a monthly necessity for the women.
The online movement run by She Says unleashed many less renowned facts about the menstruation and the need of hygiene for women. It included the average yearly cost of napkins, the events of school girls missing their schools for 5 days and even the statistics of deaths from the cervical cancer in India.
Zeenia Kolah, the Gender Advocacy Head of SheSays mentioned that, “We realised that you cannot tackle issues including gender based violence, or the need for women to have access to education without addressing the other significant barriers that women in our country are subject to on a daily basis. When we talk about abolishing this unfair tax burden that women are subject to, we are not just talking about the fact that it is discriminatory on the grounds that it is targeting only one gender and taxing women on an essential commodity, but we are also addressing the facts that 23% of girls drop out of school on reaching menarche, lack of participation of women at the work place, increased rates of Reproductive Tract Infections and cervical cancer”.