German feminists call for end to ′luxury tax′ for tampons | News | DW | 03.05.2019

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German feminists call for end to 'luxury tax' for tampons

Tampons and other menstrual products are considered "luxury goods" by German tax officials. A group of feminists want to change that with a petition to the German parliament.

German magazine Neon and einhorn, a German start-up, are calling on people to sign a petition by the end of May to make German lawmakers discuss lowering the value-added tax on period products.

Tampons and other menstrual items are taxed at the standard value-added rate of 19%, also known as the rate for "luxury" goods.

Neon and einhorn want the government to tax them at the reduced rate of 7%, which applies mainly to food items considered necessary for basic living requirements.

Read more: India scraps controversial tax on sanitary pads

The current system "systematically discriminates against women of all social classes and financial backgrounds," the organizers said.

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"Women menstruate … whether they like it or not. This is not a luxury and should not be taxed as such," they added.

The German parliament will discuss the petition if at least 50,000 people sign the petition by May 28.

Read more: Let's talk about menstruation...

Australia and Canada abolished similar value-added taxes on menstrual goods in recent years. Spain and France lowered their value-added taxes after a surge in activist pressure.

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