Gender Ministry Wants Tariffs Remove From Menstrual Products

By: Lazota Bility

Liberia: The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection is rallying the Government of Liberia to remove tariffs on all menstrual products imported into the country.

Gender Minister Gbessay Horace Kollie made the statement Tuesday, May 28, 2024 during the celebration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day in collaboration with the Adolescent Girls Advisory Panel on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Min Horace-Kollie underscored the importance of practicing menstrual hygiene among Liberian women and girls. She also noted that women and girls continue to find it difficult to live up to the basic menstrual hygiene practices due to financial challenges in purchasing menstrual products during their monthly periods.

Additionally, Minister Kollie reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to advocacy and protecting Liberian women and girls in ending stigma and promote best practices.

“For far too long menstruation has been stigmatized, and many girls and women have been forced to navigate their period in fear and shame” she added.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2023 report shows that 1 out of 10 girls in Africa missed School why on their Period due to the lack of access to menstrual products.

Also speaking, Madam Victoria Quaqua, Water Aid Liberia Representative emphasized the need for more awareness to eradicate stigma among women and girls.

“We have trained champions to help reduce stigma concerning menstrual hygiene, and called on the government of Liberia to join the fight to remove the taxes on Menstrual products so that every woman and girl can have Sanitary pads for free” she added.

However, Liberia’s Presidential Press Secretary, Madam Kula Fofana called on parents to provide menstrual hygiene education to their children.

She said that such an act would help decrease teenage pregnancy and promote a healthy and safe society for women and girls in Liberia.

“I am a mother of three girls so I’m into this period business forever. We as mothers should explain to our children and teach them more about their menstrual circle and stop making them afraid. Let’s create a friendly conversation with our children to help save them from having a teenage pregnancy ” she reemphasized.

World Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated in commemoration of the importance of good menstrual hygiene management at a global level.

The day was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2013 and was first celebrated in 2014, focusing on creating a world where women and girls are healthy and empowered to manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence, and without shame.

This year’s occasion is celebrated under the theme ” together, a period friendly world” with Liberia’s National theme ” Menstrual is a Must, Let’s Make Menstrual Products Assessable, Affordable and Create a Safe Environment for Hygiene Management ”

The ceremony provides a platform for knowledge sharing for adolescent girls in communities where more out-of-school girls have not had the opportunity to have such information.

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