A writer and youth advocate for sexual reproductive health, Stella Darley Tetteh, has called for the repeal of the 20% import tax imposed on sanitary pads.

She believes, this call if heeded, will significantly improve menstrual hygiene among girls across the country since most of them will be able to afford the material which is essential during menstruation.

“I would want to be taxed on anything but not on a natural process such as menstruation. And we’ve been talking about it but I think it is time to take action. Let us just take it off. Let’s repeal the tax on sanitary materials,” she stated.

She made the remark on the Super Morning Show on Friday, May 27, ahead of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day which will be commemorated on May 28.

As part of her advocacy, she highlighted a number of activities that can be adopted to improve menstrual hygiene for girls. Among these activities was a call for girls to be given orientation on menstrual hygiene.

“In schools, we are taught menstruation but we are not taught the hygiene [aspect of it] and that’s the problem. Girls are not given an orientation before experiencing it.”

In addition, she pushed for schools to have gender-friendly facilities (toilets) “with clean water and privacy so that girls will be comfortable in school.”

She also stressed the need for girls to be oriented on other materials that can be used to improve menstrual hygiene other than the sanitary pad.

“We are all comfortable with saniraty pads and not the other alternatives. So sanitary pad manufacturers are maintaining a monopoly on the market. So if we introduced the other alternatives such as the tampon, reusable pads and other materials, we will be able to reduce the price or cost of sanitary pads,” she stated.

“If we want to have girls who would be able to grow up and attain their full potential, then we have to have this conversation so that authorities will make investments towards menstrual hygiene.