Period Poverty

There is already a bill in Congress proposed by MO. Representative Jim Neely, House Bill 747, to reduce the Tampon Tax from 4.2 percent to 1.2 percent, but is that enough?


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

A plethora of feminine menstrual products that I believe are a need, not a want.

   The so-called “Pink Tax” is not a literal tax. However, it refers to the price women pay more for similar, or even the same products and services that men pay for. 

   An extra amount of money charged for certain products or services that are specifically marketed toward female consumers is wrong in so many ways. Gender-based price inequalities are widespread in several areas, but the most prominent is personal care products. These include soaps, lotions, razors and deodorants.

 As of October of 2022, 22 states still charge sales tax on period products, according to the Alliance for Period Supplies.

   On average, personal care products targeted to women were 13 percent more expensive than similar men’s products. The pink tax generally refers to state sales tax on menstrual products, such as tampons, and pads. Feminine hygiene products are necessities for many women, but some states tax feminine products as “luxury items.” 

   Why is there an extra tax on feminine products you ask? Well, the pink tax exists because companies can set the prices for their own products. If a company believes female consumers will still buy a product even despite being more expensive than similar products used by the opposite sex, they’ll choose to do so.

   Many low-income women and young girls face period poverty while trying to afford menstrual products such as, tampons, pads, liners and menstrual cups. Females who don’t have the ability to get the products they need, use a variety of products that can be problematic and have a high infection rate. Us women bloat, cramp, hurt, ache and bleed every month, for days at a time, but we power through. Why should we have to pay extra on items that we need to get us through our cycle? Why should we have to pay extra on items that we need to get us through our cycle? 

   The pink tax officially dates back to 1994, and the remaining 22 states who still have pink tax, including Missouri, should end in 2023. If you’re an advocate for change, go to › pink-tax-en-us to sign the petition to end the pink tax.