MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION BY THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY
With some European countries applying up to more than 20 percent tax on feminine hygiene products, classifying them as non-essential goods, what steps should the EU take to further fight the pink tax and period poverty?Submitted by: Lieveke Schoordijk, Nikki Hollander, Raven Staal, Mike Roelofs, Pol Sanmartí (Chairperson, ES)
The European Youth Parliament aims to put an end to gender-based tax discrimination, acknowledging the need to work towards reducing economic and social setbacks for women and menstruating people. We want to increase provision and accessibility to feminine hygiene products, while ensuring equal standards of life for all European citizens,
- Some Member States[mfn]Hungary (27% tax), the Scandinavian Region (25% tax), Greece (23% tax), Croatia (⋝20%) and Latvia (⋝20%), amongst others.[/mfn] tax up to 27% on feminine hygiene products, still classifying them as non-essential goods, instead of applying reduced rates created for essential goods,
- On average, menstruating people spend between €1500 and €7500 on menstrual products during their lifetime,
- This higher economic burden on women leads to period poverty,
- Period poverty results in social exclusion, hampering school attendance, social life, and future development,
- The European Union (EU) has no competence in Member States’ taxation policies, resulting in there being no binding EU-wide regulations on the premises of period poverty,
- The pink tax can be linked to indirect gender discrimination.
Therefore, the European Youth Parliament,
- Encourages the national Red Cross Societies to distribute period product vouchers to citizens living under the Member States’ poverty line;
- Calls upon Member States to contribute to high schools’ and universities’ budgets to distribute free menstrual products for their students;
- Asks all Member States to classify menstrual products as essential goods and tax them as such, following the example of Ireland;
- Calls on the European Commission to modify the VAT Directive, allowing for more than two reduced VAT rates of 5%, while further encouraging Member States to include menstrual products within the reduced rates;
- Implores the European Commission to restrict gender-based marketing strategies on hygiene products perpetuating gender stereotypes and price discrimination;
- Proposes that the European Commission oversees a publicity campaign regarding the free distribution of period products, with the goal of waiving taboos and raising awareness on the newly adopted measures.