Written By Tanya Cruz
Tanya is a self-proclaimed pop culture junkie and full-time news nerd. If something is happening, she'll want you to know about it. Don't worry, she's got your back - she'll keep ya in the loop!Read Her Blog "The Urban Millennial"
Here’s something you didn’t know you were angry about until now: paying tax on tampons.
Just think, ever since you started getting your period and began buying tampons or menstrual pads from your local superstore – the Canadian government has been discriminating against you. Currently, Canadians (with a uterus!) are paying 5% GST on all feminine hygiene products including tampons, menstrual pads, moon/diva cups and pantyliners. And why? Because unlike food, children’s clothing, and things like contact lenses, feminine hygiene products are considered to be non-essential or luxury items.
Luckily, a new petition on Change.org called “No Tax on Tampons” is trying to end this unfair taxation. ”These products are an essential part of a normal, public life for people with periods,” writes the petition’s spokesperson, Jill Piebiak. The petition supports the Bill C-28, a bill originally brought forward by NDP MP Irene Mathyssen in 2013. The act will allow for the amendment of the Excise Tax Act, which will classify menstrual products as essential, therefore exempting them from GST.
“These products are essential to normal public life in Canada for people with their periods. It’s not something that we choose to use, so we recognize that it’s a gender-based tax and that this tax is unfair and discriminatory,” Piebiak told Global News.
Let’s face it, the Canadian government has earned millions (over $35 million according to the petition’s page) annually in taxes off menstrual products women need to buy in order to carry out their daily lives. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to meet a woman who voluntarily asked biology for her period.
“To add insult to injury, items like incontinence products, cocktail cherries, human sperm, and wedding cakes are not subject to GST,” writes Piebiak on the petition’s page.
Similar petitions are currently underway in places like Australia and the United Kingdom, where similar taxes have been slapped onto menstrual products. In the United States, the Free The Tampons movement is also gaining momentum as they try to make free tampons available across all public washrooms in the country. Because let’s be real, how many times have we all unexpectedly gotten our periods and had to make a pad out of toilet paper? TOO MANY TIMES.
Since starting her online petition back in January, ”No Tax on Tampons” has garnered over 45,000 signatures. Piebiak hopes that her campaign will garner enough support to carry her motion into the House of Commons and get rid of tax on feminine hygiene products altogether. The fact that we’ve been paying for it for this long is not cool — period.