The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Women Caucus in Parliament has called on the government to promptly implement the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally manufactured sanitary pads, as announced in the 2024 Budget Statement by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
During an industrial tour to Sunda Ghana and Fay International Limited (FIL), manufacturers of Softcare sanitary pads and Faytex sanitary towels, respectively, Ms Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe, NDC MP for Ada, emphasized the importance of prioritizing menstrual hygiene for women.
Ms Cudjoe urged the government to “walk the talk by not taxing the blood of women through taxes,” echoing the sentiment that the elimination of import duties and VAT on sanitary pads is a crucial step toward ensuring menstrual hygiene as a basic human right.
Finance Minister Ofori-Atta announced the government's commitment to categorize VAT on locally produced sanitary pads as zero-rated and eliminate import duties on raw materials for their manufacture.
Ms Cudjoe, also the Deputy Minority Whip, stressed the significance of these exemptions for women's health, dignity, and access to education.
During the tour, Mr Micheal Ye Wei, Managing Director of Sunda Ghana, highlighted the challenges faced by the industry, including capital intensity, technical training for workers, and the need for government support.
Mr Wei called for collaboration between the government and Parliament to establish a supply agreement with schools, promoting the fair distribution of pads to vulnerable segments of society.
Madam Jeanine Hage-Ali, Managing Director of Fay International Limited, welcomed the government's directive, anticipating that the removal of the 15% VAT on locally produced sanitary pads would make them more affordable for the poor and vulnerable.
The NDC Minority Women Caucus emphasized that the implementation of these measures is crucial to addressing financial barriers and ensuring universal access to menstrual hygiene products, emphasizing their fundamental necessity for health and education.