Students at Madison High School in Idaho are taking on the tampon tax. The local newspaper, the Standard Journal, reported here that a group of seniors are proposing solutions as part of their “Project Citizen” work:
Adeline Winn, Madison Jensen, Tanner Averill, Carlie Meredith and Zach Le made up the group.
The group reported that Idaho is one of 32 states that taxes women for menstrual hygiene products. They also reported there is no tax on male enhancement products, and such is unconstitutional.
“We’d like feminine menstrual products to be exempted from Idaho sales tax,” Averill said. ***
When women and girls can’t afford to buy new sanitary products, they’ll reuse products thus putting them at risk for toxic shock syndrome, a fatal bacterial infection. Other times, women rely on cloths, rags, tissues, toilet paper and paper towels from public restrooms, she said.
The group reported the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stating that one in five women struggle to buy menstrual products at least once a month. The average woman spends up to $300 a year on feminine hygiene products, and that cost doubles should there be daughters in the home.
The group suggested that each of the Madison High School’s seven girl’s restrooms be stocked with free sanitary napkins and tampons. Currently, the school charges 25 cents for each. It would cost the school an estimated $760 a month to refill dispensers. Buying such products would help girls focus on class and relieve them of embarrassing situations, they said.
Le said that eliminating the tax on menstrual products would benefit women and their families.
Kudos to these students for raising awareness of the issue and coming up with practical solutions. People of all ages are leading the way on menstrual equity and justice. We see you, Madison High School students!