Nana Frimpong Manso Adakabre, the founder of Adesua Foundation, a non-profit organization, has called upon the government to abolish the 20% import tax and the additional 12.5% value-added tax (VAT) imposed on menstrual products.
The topic of menstruation and menstrual health is one often considered a taboo in many spaces. Even though menstruation is a very regular physiological occurrence among women, the absence of open conversations around the subject has left many women lacking in beneficial knowledge in terms of their health.
As part of Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day which was observed on May 28 2023, Nana Frimpong Manso Adakabre urged the government to scrap the taxes to ensure that sanitary materials are affordable and accessible to all.
He said removing the levy on sanitary products, empowering women, and providing affordable menstruation products will significantly improve Ghanaian women and girls’ reproductive and general health.
He also distributed sanitary pads to school going girls in Agogo, the Asante Akyem north municipal which is aim to keeping the girls in school during their menstrual periods and to menstruate with pride.
Nana Frimpong added that the menstrual cycle of these teenagers must be prioritize by parents and all stakeholders so that their reproductive system are not affected by infections.
Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day was created by the German-based organization NGO WASH United as recently as 2014. The day was created to normalize the action of menstruation and the importance of access to hygiene during this time, with the support of over 270 global partners.
Interestingly, the reason that May 28th was chosen is that May is the 5th month of the year – most women average to having their period for 5 days, and their cycle tends to be at 28 days. So in a way, 28th of May is especially symbolic.