360, that’s the average number of weeks a women will spend on her period in her lifetime. If you were to do that time consecutively that’s nearly 7 years. Nearly 7 years of our lives on our period. As if it wasn’t bad enough that we have to deal with the fluctuation in hormones, the change in our bodies, and the inconvenience of actually bleeding consistently for up to seven days, but we have to pay for the privilege! To continue with our day to day lives and being general badasses we have to use tampons, sanitary towels, menstrual cups etc. Not only do we have to pay for these things, we have to pay tax on them too since they’re not considered a necessity. I’d put my life on it that it wasn’t a woman that made that rule!
Some states have been working to change this, but most still have to pay. My fellow family and friends in the UK still have to pay this premium too, even though it is a reduced rate of 5%. The good news is though, we are living in an age where change is absolutely possible! In 2015 Canada removed tax on feminine hygiene products after an online petition received more than 10,000 signatures, this sparked arguments around the world and India also scrapped their 12% tax on sanitary napkins in 2018, along with Australia who finally won an 18 year campaign to get rid of the 10% tax on feminine products.
Unfortunately, the tax that women have to pay, just for being women, doesn’t end there. There is such a thing as the Pink Tax. No I’m not kidding, or being dramatic. Studies have shown that the cost of being a woman literally is higher than that of a man. The New York City department of consumer affairs did a study which proved that girls toys and accessories were 7% more than boys, and clothing 4%. Women’s clothing came out 8% more than mens clothes, and personal care products, a whopping 13% more expensive for women! It doesn’t stop there, as seniors women can expect to pay 8% more for home health care and other related products than compared to men of the same age. The results showed that women’s products cost more than men’s 42% of the time!! And men’s products cost more that women’s only 18% of the time.
If that wasn’t enough to shock you, check this out. In one of the studies they did they found a red “My 1st Scooter” aimed at boys for $24.99, at the same store, a pink “My 1st Scooter Sparkle” for EXACTLY the same scooter but just with some added glitter for $49.99! When the store was confronted about the study they claimed it was a “system error” and shortly after it was removed from sale all together.
In 1994, a study of gender based pricing in California showed that on average women will pay a “gender tax” of approximately $1,351 per year more than men for the same services.
More awareness needs to be made about this subject, this is 2019 and buying tampons and sanitary towels shouldn’t be considered a luxury. At the end of 2018, Nevada became the tenth state in the US to eliminate tax on sanitary products a long with New York, Florida and Illinois.
100 years is a long time, that’s how long it’s been since women were given the right to vote, and we’ve come a long way but not far enough, we still have a way to go. So let’s keep making noise about it! Help me spread the word and build awareness about this.