Mr. James Kofi Afedo, a private legal practitioner, has filed a lawsuit against the Government of Ghana, the Ghana Revenue Authority, and parliament over the implementation of taxes on menstrual hygiene products.
According to Mr. James, menstruation is a fundamental part of the biological makeup of women, and thus they do not have a choice whether to menstruate or not.
A judicial petition submitted on June 29, 2023, asked the Supreme Court to issue an injunction barring the Commissioner-General from collecting taxes on menstrual-related goods until the case’s conclusion.
The court was asked in the writ that 1Family Radio observed to rule that the laws imposing 20% Excise Duty and 17% Value Added Tax (VAT) on products that are utilized by women in managing their monthly periods are sexually discriminatory, infringe on women’s rights to education, employment, and health, and are thus unconstitutional.
Women and girls cannot decide whether to menstruate or not. It is a crucial component of their biological makeup.
‘’So it just doesn’t make sense that women and girls should be taxed at such high rates solely because they are women,’’ he said.
‘’We are surprised that our governments have not taken action after years of ardent agitation from women’s rights civil society organizations.’’
Mr. Afedo went on to seek the court’s directive for the government to make a refund of all taxes it has already collected beginning on the day the tax became effective.
This action just requests that the Supreme Court use its authority to determine whether or not the aforementioned statutes are discriminatory and infringe upon women’s rights to employment, education, and health.
According to Mr. Afedo, “And if the court agrees with us, then it is only appropriate that the government refund all of the money it collected as taxes on menstrual hygiene products to those affected.”