Inspired by a petition in the UK protesting a law that adds a 5% tax on all tampons and pads, cartoonist, writer and illustrator Gemma Correll created these awesome cartoons entitled “Luxury Feminine Care Products: For the woman who menstruates and is also fancy.”
Sanitary products in the UK are classified as “non-essential luxury items,” meanwhile, among the list of goods that are exempt from a national tax rate are imported exotic meats (such as ostrich, crocodile and kangaroo), helicopters and alcoholic jelly shots.
The tax has been in effect in the UK since 1973. At that time, female sanitary products were taxed a whopping 17.5 percent. After years of protest, in 2000, that rate was lowered to 5 percent. This petition, created by 21-year-old student Laura Coryton, calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to do away with the tax altogether.
Sanitary products control and manage menstruation. They are essential because without them, those who menstruate would have no way of pursuing a normal, flexible, public or private life and would be at risk of jeopardising their health.
Essential items should not be taxed because tax implements a monetary discouragement that lessens a product’s accessibility and affordability. It is therefore damaging to stand by a tax that has restricted the public’s access to healthcare and constrained their ability to consume a vital range of products for decades.
While we can live without flying our own private helicopters, we cannot live without the public participation of those who menstruate, which is dependent upon the accessibility of sanitary products.
The petition, which was first introduced last year, now has over 200,000 signatures and continues to gain momentum worldwide.
Hey Mr. Prime Minister #EndTamponTax and #FreePeriods now!
For more information you can check out the petition here.
All images © Gemma Correll 2015. Republished on Women You Should Know with express permission.