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Feminists call for lower tampon tax

Alexander Pearson
May 3, 2019

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.

Sanitary pad and tampon
Image: Imago/Steinach

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.

How sanitary pads can improve women’s lives

"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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