Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs Funnybones is known to speak her mind and how! She wouldn’t know what the S in ‘shy’ stands for when it comes to putting her opinion and foot down. It helps that her sense of humour and wits seep into those opinions from time to time. From talking about women changing their names after marriage to the futility of traditions like karvachauth, Khanna’s Twitter account is a delight to scroll through.
Recently, in an interview with BBC and in the light of her first project as a producer - Padman’s release, she talked about the problems revolving around menstruation. Especially the menstruation tax. In case you didn’t know, there is a tax on sanitary pads but not on items like sindoor, bangles, etc. The effervescent woman talks about how “only 23% women in India use sanitary pads or tampons” and “20% of school girls drop out once they begin menstruating because they can’t afford sanitary pads” and with 12% GST on sanitary pads in India, and no tax on items like brooms, the question is - is keeping your houses clean is more important than keeping yourself clean?
This is not just an issue in India, she points out. America has taxes on sanitary pads but not on viagra and a survey in Leads, England found that girls from low income households dropped out of school because they could not afford pads or tampons. Menstruation tax and other taboos revolving around ‘that time of the month’ need to be brought up everyday on social media, everyday conversations and Government policies - if we hope to get rid of them sooner than later.