Amber Rose gets very real about the tampon tax and why we need women in higher positions...
It’s safe to say we’ve all had enough of paying tax on our tampons, with sanitary items seen as luxuries not necessities, unlike bread and razors which are both free of VAT.
There have been decades of protesting around the issue with men and women across the UK deeming it unfair that the female population is forced to pay 5% tax for buying something that is actually a healthcare necessity, and it seems that around the world it doesn't get much better.
While Canada has succeeded in ending its tax on tampons, only a few states in the US have followed suit with 36 of them still enforcing the tax, with rates varying from 4 to 10 percent depending on the state.
Progress is being made with supermarkets starting to absorb the tax for its customers and paying the rate themselves, and increasing numbers of high profile figures are putting their names to the cause.
The latest celebrity to speak up for the cause is model and activist Amber Rose, starring in a new PSA video airing this week against the tampon tax - and it's pretty powerful.
On first impression, the video could be mistaken for a jewellery advert - black and white lighting, mood music and Amber Rose wearing a large diamond necklace, accompanied by the voiceover, ‘Hand-set with 156 brilliant cut diamonds, in 18-karat white gold, on a custom-made bezel set diamond chain.'
It is only however when Rose pulls a tampon out of her necklace, that it becomes clear that the advert is actually a political statement against the tampon tax, with the voice over stating, 'Where else would you keep something 36 states tax like a luxury?’ - a jibe at the 36 states who still don't deem the sanitary products a necessity.
'A tax on tampons is a tax on half the population,' the video reads, before closing with the statement, 'Tell the government where to stick this tax.'
‘When people first see the the video, they’ll think I’m actually selling jewellery, and then I pull out the tampon, and it’s like, “Oh! Oh wow, now we understand," Amber explained about the campaign. 'I just feel like men will never understand. They’re probably in charge of the tax on tampons, and that’s why I talk to women and tell them that we need to be in higher positions and hire people who understand us.’
She continued: ‘It’s real important for people to understand that it is not a luxury to use a tampon. It’s a necessity,’ explained Amber Rose. ‘I have a lot of guys who work for me. I tell them what it’s like to have cramps, and they all cringe. I tell them about blood clots, and I get real extreme with them, and they’re so grossed out. I’m like, dude, we go through this every month, forever!’
The video was launched by Period Equity as part of a new campaign called 'Periods are not a luxury, period.'
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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