The Canadian government decided last year that it would completely scrap the so-called ‘tampon tax’ on feminine hygiene products – a tax which opponents said unfairly penalized women for something essential.
But Spain still has such a tax of 10 percent on feminine hygiene products – which is the same rate for caviar – putting millions each year into government coffers. Other products, like intimate gels and hygienic wipes, carry a 21 percent tax, according to news agency EFE.
Opponents of such taxes argue that these essential products for women should be treated like other necessary items, such as water.
So a group of women launched a campaign less than three weeks ago called Tampons from Canada to protest the charges in Spain.
“Women of Spain, we already bleed enough, so let’s unite so that the government of Spain does not make us bleed more,” the group says in a YouTube video.
The group says that if the tax is not lowered to 4 percent, they will start making mass orders of tampons from Canada. Some 700 women have already agreed to take part in the mass order, according to EFE.
“It's cheaper to make a mass order of tampons from Canada than to buy them in a neighbourhood supermarket,” the video states.
A petition on Change.org associated with the campaign has also gained more than 130,000 signatures.
“In any shopping cart for a family with women between the ages of 13 and 55, you cannot miss three basic products: tampons, pads or menstrual cups,” the petition reads.
“We all use these for on average 35 years of our lives. These are products of utmost necessity.”
France last year reduced its own tampon tax after protests from women, dropping the rate from 20 percent to 5.5 percent.