A good trait in a listening and trustworthy leader is the ability to make decisions that bring direct benefits to many regardless of the opportunity cost of such decisions. The decision of Akufo-Addo led administration to waive the taxes on sanitary pads should be a celebrated by everyone for many reasons although it may constitute significant revenue loss to the government. This decision directly impacts the social and economic life all adolescents and pre-menopausal women. Many non-governmental organisations have for years advocated for the government to waive taxes on sanitary pads because they know from working with many adolescents and women the potential positive implications of such a decision.
Adolescents and pre-menopausal women [usually 14 to 49 year old females] constitute a large proportion of the population of Ghana. Thus for about 35 years a large proportion of the populace cannot avoid the cost buying sanitary pads every month. The waiver of the 20% import tax on sanitary pads would mean real savings for many years and increase their disposable income. The savings made can be put into other equally important activities that may improve the life outcomes of adolescents and pre-menopausal women.
The decision to waive import taxes on sanitary pads also means that good quality sanitary pads would become affordable for the many adolescents who stay away from schools and other social gatherings during their time of the month. Being able to afford good quality sanitary pads would improve the confidence of such adolescents and eliminate the disadvantages they face because of being absent from schools and other social gatherings during their time of the month.
The waiver of the import taxes on sanitary pads also means that good quality products will become affordable for many adolescents and women at much lower cost. For this reason, they may no longer need to use other materials that could have negative health implications. Preventing possible health issues in a large proportion of the populace mean potentially reducing the disease burden on the health system of the nation. This helps Ghana to score more points in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The plan of the government is not only to waive import taxes on sanitary pads but also to encourage their domestic production. Increasing domestic production would create both direct and indirect jobs for Ghanaians. Unemployment is a perennial problem in Ghana and any initiative which has the potential of job creation is certainly a welcome one.
Akuffo-Addo has shown his intention of implementing a policy that would bring lifetime savings to a significant proportion of the nation’s population, improve their health and social outcomes, and create job opportunities for the youth. Given that Akuffo-Addo has demonstrated his commitment to fulfilling his promises Ghanaians can be confident when he is given the nod to continue this and other promises will be fulfilled. Vote Akuffo-Addo, four more for Nana to do more!