Mexico’s human rights commision is celebrating the Senate’s decision to eliminate value-added tax on menstrual supplies such as tampons and pads.
The new legislation is being also being called a major victory by several feminist organizations
Before Wednesday’s vote in the Senate, menstrual supplies were taxed at 16%, the same rate that applies to most consumer products. Some other VAT-exempt products in Mexico include most medications, books, non-commercial animals, and oddly enough, gold jewelry.
Mexico now joins other nations such as Canada, Colombia, and Jamaica in eliminating taxes on menstrual items.
In the United States, taxes on such products are often referred to as tampon tax. Critics call the practice sexist where other essential health products like prescriptions, toilet paper, and condoms are typically tax-exempt.
The same is true for some less essential items like golf club memberships and erectile dysfunction pills.
The tampon tax is also known as the “pink tax,” a term used to describe a form of gender-based discrimination named for marketing the color pink toward women.
A study by the WHO and UNICEF showed that even in developed countries such as Scotland, one out of five women has been forced to improvise with items including toilet paper and old clothes due to the high cost of commercial products.