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Op-ed: Menstrual equity is a necessity

The Period Tax, also known as the Tampon Tax, is a prominent example of economic inequity.

While health and hygiene essentials, such as Viagra, Carmex, or even some shampoos are among the many examples of items not subject to sales tax. Menstrual support products are glaringly absent from that list.

The tax on these products tend to vary by state, but the sales tax can amount to upwards of $0.50 for a single item. This may not seem like much by itself; however, when you consider the Pink Tax (another example of economic inequity) menstrual products on average can cost up to 7% more than men’s products. According to axthepinktax.com the Pink Tax will have cost a person in their 30’s up to $40,000 and a person in their 60’s up to $82,000. This is not even limited to hygiene items; this applies to clothing, toys, and a variety of other items. It is more expensive to be a woman, which is a big problem considering on average, women make 20% less than men in the workforce (this wage gap is even larger for Black and brown women). The overall impact this has is that women have significantly less buying power, which could be causing states to potentially hamper their own economies since women make up over half the population.

Currently, there are no federal laws in place that prohibit the use of different pricing for menstrual products. However, more and more states are passing legislation that puts us on the path to more equitable experiences in our economy. Texas now has the opportunity to be one of those states. Texas House Bill 321 has been introduced by Representative Donna Howard to work against one form of economic inequity menstruators experience. The repeal of taxes on menstruation items will make them more affordable and more accessible for menstruators. Menstruation products are a necessity and people with periods deserve access to them without paying extra for it. That is why IGNITE supports HB321 and we are asking you to support it as well. 

Ready to advocate for menstrual equity? Join us for IGNITE the Capitol Texas to become an expert in digital advocacy! Register here

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