At our meetings many issues are debated and the unfairness of the ‘tampon tax’ and the increased complexities of menstruation in combination with homelessness (as raised by The Homeless Period campaign) is one that we all agree on.
Long-term Unite Community member Sarah Shaw agreed to dedicate her time to compiling a report highlighting the problem, investigating the impact and suggesting routes ahead and definite next steps for us to take.
Bridgwater and Taunton Unite Community Group believes the campaign for The Homeless Period and the so-called ‘tampon tax’ to have both practical and political elements. On the practical side, awareness needs to be raised in order that donations of sanitary products can be made to homeless organisations and local food banks. On the political side, we need to campaign to abolish the tax on sanitary products altogether.
However, we believe the issues to be larger than just access to sanitary protection and the ‘tampon tax’. If women are too ashamed to ask for sanitary products or people too embarrassed to donate them in the first place, or, women are not engaging with homeless services for whatever reason, then campaigning for donations will not change things substantially.
The tax on sanitary products is part of wider challenges in the marginalisation of women’s issues and their place in society and the economy.