Case studies

Learn from past and present campaigns on period taxes from countries around the world.

Tanzania

Sanitary pads were made VAT exempt in July 2018, but the tax was reinstated in 2019. Learn more about the successes and challenges of this campaign in our conversation with Halima Lila from Hope Centre Tanzania and Priya Sippy from WaterAid Tanzania.

Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa

Advocating for Affordability. The story of menstrual hygiene product tax advocacy in four countries (Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Soth Africa). By Susan Fox, Global Health Visions

RWANDA

Period taxes were removed in Rwanda in late 2019. Learn more about the campaign to #FreeThePeriod in our interview with key advocate Isabella Akaliza.

More insights from africa and asia

Watch the web-dialogue for more insights from Tanzania, India, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

Explanatory VIDEOS AND WEBINARS

Learn more about the topic of period taxes and campaign examples through our explanatory videos and webinar recordings.

More campaign examples

Campaign Example

Australia

Following years of sustained public campaigning, the Australian government finally agreed to remove the 10% goods and services tax (GST) on menstrual products starting January 2019.

Campaign Example

India

In July 2018, the Indian government removed 12% goods and services tax (GST) from sanitary pads, making them tax exempt. The Indian government previously argued that a tax exemption would not necessarily lead to a reduction of retail prices of sanitary pads, but it eventually gave in to mounting public pressure.

Campaign Example

Switzerland

While items like tap water, cat litter and flowers are taxed at a reduced VAT rate of 2.5% in Switzerland, menstrual products are subject to the standard VAT rate of 7.7%. Swiss campaigning group Campax launched a petition on Women’s Day in May 2019 to call for fairer taxation. They handed over 11,000 signatures to the government in June 2019.  The decision-making process is currently ongoing and there is not yet a final result.

Campaign Example

The tampon book

In Germany, books are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 7% applied to essential goods. Menstrual products, however, used to be taxed at the standard VAT rate of 19%. To raise awareness of the unfair taxation, the Female Company packaged their tampons inside a little Tampon Book, which they sold at 7% VAT. The idea received significant media attention and contributed to the wider campaign that resulted in the reduction of VAT on all period products in January 2020.

More campaign examples

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