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News Article

Chamber of Deputies Eliminates Tax on Menstrual Products

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 10/22/2021 - 17:38

The Chamber of Deputies established that from 2022 menstrual products will be tax-free, recognizing that these products are essential items and not luxury goods.

“Taxing the products that attend menstruation means that this tax has an economic impact on women. This tax affects women living in poverty more because they cannot buy products due to the lack of resources,” states the official decree.

Ending taxation on menstrual products is part of a movement that aims to end period poverty due the expenditure is involves and to the stop stigma surrounding this natural process. Mexico’s new tax-free setup will address both matters. The move means the federal government would stop collecting MX$880 million (US$44 million) from these products, according to the Center for Public Finance Studies (CEFP) of the Chamber of Deputies.

“When people cannot access safe bathing facilities and safe and effective means of managing their menstrual hygiene, they are not able to manage their menstruation with dignity,” explains the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). According to the Fund, gender inequality, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises and harmful traditions can all turn menstruation into a time of deprivation and stigma, which can undermine their enjoyment of fundamental human rights.

The average person who menstruates spends about US$1,773 on period products in their lifetime, according to Global Citizen. Around the world, 800 million people are on their periods at any given moment and it is estimated that 500 million people live without access to adequate menstrual hygiene. Many of them end up resorting to unsafe materials to manage their periods because their schools or workplaces do not yet provide free menstrual products.

Moreover, the Harvard Review states that people with heavy periods requiring more of these products may face financial challenges, as they must buy more pads or tampons than the average menstruating person. “If they try to extend the life of products by using them for multiple hours at a time, they can wind up with vulvar irritation and vaginal discomfort. They may also be at greater risk for toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening infection,” shared the review.

The COVID-19 pandemic enhanced the struggle to access menstrual products. The pandemic increased the cost of period products and led to supply shortages. Moreover, it reduced household incomes so many were unable to manage their periods appropriately, according to Plan International. The firm discovered that in 73 percent of the 30 analyzed countries people found their access to these products restricted by shortages or disrupted supply chains.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Universal, Pandemic Periods, UNFPA, The Harvard Review, Global Citizen
Photo by:   Natracare on Unsplash
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst