Wednesday, July 10, 2013

VAT Bill biased against women, says lobby

PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL A human rights activist demonstrating against the VAT Bill on July 2, 2013.

PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL A human rights activist demonstrating against the VAT Bill on July 2, 2013.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION REPORTER

A lobby group on Wednesday called for the withdrawal of the VAT Bill “for discriminating against women”.

The Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida-Kenya) termed failure to exempt taxation of sanitary pads as a constitutional violation, adding it would undo gains made towards boosting the girl-child education.

“The proposed taxation of sanitary pads is a blatant violation of girls’ and women’s constitutional entitlement to basic education and the highest attainable standard of reproductive health care,” read part of the Fida statement.

In 2004, a zero-rate import duty on sanitary pads was applied as part of a strategy to get more girls into school without interruption.

“The taxation of sanitary pads will be a key reversal of the very commitment made by President Uhuru Kenyatta in budgetary speech where the government promised to ensure girls attended school throughout the month like boys,” said Fida-Kenya chairperson Ruth Aura.

advertisement