Back in April 2015 we shared a series of comics by cartoonist Gemma Correll that illustrated the ridiculous “luxury” tax that is imposed on women’s feminine care products in the UK. If you are in the States and thought that you were immune to taxes on these essential products, well, you are wrong.
Inspired by a petition created in the UK protesting the law, writer and advocate Jennifer Weiss-Wolf has teamed up with Cosmopolitan magazine to petition U.S. State Legislators to “stop taxing our periods.”
Women spend upwards of $70 a year on sanitary products. Currently 40 states charge sales tax on these items. “The time is now to demand sound policies that recognize menstrual hygiene for what it is: a matter of public health, gender equality, economic parity and educational opportunity,” Jennifer wrote in a recent op-ed piece. “For anyone who has a period, these items are a necessity—not an option, not a luxury item—and should be treated as such. Eliminating the Tampon Tax is simply the FAIR and EQUAL thing to do.”
Check out this map to see if your state is one of the forty that taxes your purchase of sanitary products.
Letter to U.S. Legislators
We demand that the 40 U.S. states that impose sales tax on feminine hygiene products stop taxing our periods. Instead, follow the example of those states that have eliminated this unfair tax: Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
As anyone who menstruates knows, dealing with a period is a monthly necessity—and a costly one at that. Women already spend upwards of $70 a year on sanitary products like tampons, pads, and menstrual cups.
These items are absolute “necessities” – not an option, not a luxury. Millions require them, month after month and year after year, to be productive members of society. Eliminating the “Tampon Tax” is simply the FAIR and EQUAL thing to do.
This summer, Canada abolished its longstanding national tax on menstrual products. Activists around the world, notably in the U.K. and Australia, are insisting their governments do the same.
Change in the United States is imperative – yet here, it must happen state by state, where sales tax is levied and collected. Therefore we are simultaneously petitioning each and every one of the 40 states that continue to profit from our menstrual periods: Treat women and girls equally and eliminate this unfair and discriminatory tax.
To read the petition in its entirety, share it with your friends, and let the forty state legislatures that profit from your period know that you won’t stand for it, click here.