Rwanda scraps tax on sanitary pads

A tax on sanitary pads has been scrapped in Rwanda to make them more affordable, the ministry of gender has announced.

“Moving to the right direction, from now onwards, the Government of Rwanda has added Sanitary Pads to a list of goods that are VAT exempted in a bid to ease their affordability,’ Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion-Rwanda tweeted.

Previously, an 18 per cent value added tax was placed on the pads.

Consumers are yet to see if the move will reduce the price of sanitary pads in the shops.

A pack of ten pads currently sells for around Rwf1,000 ($1.07).

Activists say that this cost has made them out of reach for some, which has had a big impact on their lives.

“For many girls and women, especially in rural areas, the cost of the pads is too high. Many still rely to reusable cloth pads” women’s activist Saidath Murorunkwere said.

She added that this is risky because women are more likely to get infections.

Girls in poor families are known to miss school when they are on their periods because they can’t afford the pads, Aline Berabose, a Rwandan reproductive health activist, told the BBC.


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