“I am sure all mothers and sisters will be very happy to hear that sanitary pads are now 100 percent exempt from tax,” Interim Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal, said at a news conference in New Delhi.
Soon after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in July last year, sanitary pads were taxed at 12 percent, which led to a lot of anger and protests considering sanitary products were not luxury items but necessities. Many protested that while condoms were tax-free, something as necessary as pads were still being taxed.
The troubling fact is, 70% of Indian mothers still think menstruating is dirty and something to be ashamed of. Reports indicate that 88% of women in India are forced to use rags, sand, paper, old fabric, dried leaves and plastics when they have their periods because most cannot afford sanitary napkins or the fact that it’s inaccessible to them. Girls also drop out of school soon after they start menstruating due to similar factors.