Stu­dents’ san­i­tary prod­uct pe­ti­tion

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RE­NEE CLAY­TON

Two Auck­land stu­dents are pe­ti­tion­ing for the Gov­ern­ment to re­move GST on women’s san­i­tary prod­ucts.

Whanga­paraoa Col­lege stu­dents Me­lanie Wil­cock, 17, and Re­becca Ja­cobs, 17, plan to get 100,000 sig­na­tures in 30 days so they can take the pe­ti­tion to Par­lia­ment.

The ini­tia­tive has re­ceived more than 20,000 sig­na­tures in five days. Re­mov­ing GST on women’s san­i­tary prod­ucts was some­thing they felt strongly about.

‘‘In our de­vel­op­ing so­ci­ety women should not have to be wor­ried or em­bar­rassed about such a nat­u­ral bod­ily func­tion due to the cost of prod­ucts,’’ Wil­cock said.

The pub­lic re­garded GST on san­i­tary prod­ucts as a ‘‘nor­malised thing’’ and turned a blind eye to it, but it was time some­one took a stand, she said.

‘‘It’s time for the Gov­ern­ment to take ac­tion be­cause it is ridicu­lous to con­tinue tax­ing san­i­tary prod­ucts as lux­ury items for some­thing that we can­not con­trol.’’

There was a 12 per cent gen­der pay gap in New Zealand and only bi­o­log­i­cal women ex­pe­ri­ence men­stru­a­tion, there­fore, women were be­ing paid less than men and charged GST for some­thing that was es­sen­tial to their health, she said. The pe­ti­tion can be found at www.change.org. san­i­tary

SUP­PLIED

Re­becca Ja­cobs and Me­lanie Wil­cock hope to re­ceive 100,000 sig­na­tures.

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