Tax-Free Pads But Not 'Luxury' Tampons - Namibia Finance Ministry

Namibia's finance ministry has said they will not exempt tampons from sales tax because they are considered to be luxury items. During a radio interview, the ministry spokesperson Wilson Shikoto said underprivileged women and girls typically do not use tampons, which is why the 15% value added tax (VAT) remains on these items.

Shikoto's comments come a day after the government warned retailers and wholesalers who still charge VAT on menstrual pads that they will be forced to refund customers or pay a fine of $500 by court order.

 

Taxing menstrual products makes them less affordable and accessible, especially for low-income consumers. Menstrual health is an integral part of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and is used by the UN as an important determinant for the realization of all human rights of women and girls.

The United Nations estimates that one in 10 girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their period, which can add up to as much as 20% of a school year.

InFocus

Luxury item? (file photo).

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