The announcement was made last year by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni during parliament when he presented his medium-term budget policy statement.“This has been the plea for many women and young girls out there who are struggling to purchase such a basic need. Kotex® is behind this decision 100% and we hope this will alleviate some of the financial hardships women and girls experience due to them not being able to afford sanitary Pads."- Nthabiseng Leso, Marketing Manager of Feminine Care category at Kimberly Clark.
The fight in ensuring that Pads are zero rated is not the only fight that many women have been part of over the years. Back in the 1920’s Adverts created the perception that menstruation is embarrassing which also promised plain packaging so to not embarrass women purchasing the item. Over the coming years western doctors treated menstrual cycles as a disability - which we know not to be true. Doctors also suggested that women should refrain from participating in vigorous physical activity. This led to different stigmas surrounding menstruation, which in return many menstrual advocates are still lobbying to this day. Although sanitary products have developed throughout the years from just having Pads, to Tampons and now Menstrual Cups, the stigma continues. But, we have seen in recent years many advertisers have stopped using the notorious blue liquid as a symbol of period blood to continue to regularize menstruation.
The fight is never in void, proven by the zero VAT rated decision made by SA government. This alone makes a huge difference in the lives of young girls not being able to go to school because of being on their period. Zero VAT rated means that you can now purchase both Kotex® Maxi Pads, Ultra Pads and Pantyliners at 15% less. It’s time to follow those dreams and make things happen. Ignore the people who say you can’t, and instead show them you can.