Queen Mother Advocates for Tax-Free Sanitary Products to Support Menstrual Hygiene

Ohemaa Appeaa Sarpomaa Kumakuma 1, the Queen Mother of Akyem Dwenase and CEO of the Appeaa Sarpomaa Kumakuma 1 Foundation, has emphasized the urgent need for the government to remove all taxes on sanitary products immediately.

Speaking at a menstrual hygiene awareness event organized by her foundation, she highlighted several reasons for this demand:

  1. Health Risks: “When menstruating, some young girls use unconventional materials such as rags, cement paper, and toilet rolls, making them uncomfortable and prone to infections,” she said. The lack of proper sanitary products leads to significant health risks for young girls.
  2. Affordability: Many girls have to save from their meager allowances to purchase sanitary pads. Ohemaa Sarpomaa Kumakuma 1 expressed her desire for a policy to make sanitary pads more affordable, as financial constraints prevent access to these essential items.
  3. Social Implications: She pointed out that the lack of proper sanitary products results in girls having their clothes stained with blood, leading to social isolation and mockery from peers. This stigma affects their self-esteem and school attendance.
  4. Exploitation: The current situation has led to some men exploiting young girls, impregnating them in exchange for sanitary pads. Removing taxes on these products would make them more accessible, reducing the vulnerability of young girls to such exploitation.
  5. Educational Impact: Without adequate sanitary products, girls miss school during their menstrual periods, impacting their education. Ensuring access to affordable sanitary products would help keep girls in school and improve their academic performance.

The event gathered female and male students, pupils, and community members from Dwenase and its surroundings. Several students shared their struggles with the media, revealing they resort to using toilet paper and other inadequate methods, often facing ridicule from classmates.

The chief of Akyem Dwenase, Barima Beyeman Gyekye Sei II, who chaired the event, promised to ensure that sanitary pads would be distributed to all schools in the town monthly. This initiative aims to ensure that students always have access to sanitary products.

Hon. Ernest Ofosu, the District Chief Executive for Fanteakwa South, highlighted the Assembly’s efforts in supporting public schools with sanitary pads for needy girls. He urged parents to prioritize providing sanitary towels for their children, underscoring their necessity for the girls’ health and well-being.

Credit: Kwabena Boateng Kakape