Pads hors taxes: Guerre de paternité entre Bhawna Atmaram et Trisha Gukhool


Le retrait de la taxe sur les serviettes hygiéniques (pads) a été très commenté, surtout sur Facebook.




Bhawna Atmaram

Si Trisha Gukhool avait envoyé une pétition en février dernier réclamant le retrait de cette taxe, Bhavna Atmaram affirme que c'est elle qui a été la première à faire entendre ouvertement sa voix sur le sujet. Cette enseignante d'anglais dans le secondaire et citoyenne engagée explique que son combat remonte à 2014:

Le 7 mars 2014, j’avais envoyé une lettre ouverte au ministre des Finances d’alors, Xavier-Luc Duval, mais il n’y avait eu aucune réaction.

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Elle explique que sa démarche faisait suite à sa rencontre avec de nombreuses personnes de son entourage qui estimaient que ces pads ne sont pas à la portée de tous:

Kan ena plusieurs femmes dans ene famille, li pas facile pou acheter pou zot tou. En 2017, mo kone boukou dimounes ki pas kav acheter serviettes hygiéniques sak mois.

Voici la lettre ouverte que Bhawna Atmaram avait envoyée à Xavier-Luc Duval en mars 2014:

Dear Minister,
I hope that you are doing well and wish to apologise if the issue I am writing about might seem trivial.  However, I am sure that many, men and women alike, will empathise with what I wish to say.  
Women menstruate; fact. On average, we, women will spend about 3 500 days menstruating during our lifetime. This is not something that we have chosen to go through but then, Nature has its own mysteries and justifications and we humans have to work around it to survive.  This brings me to the following pressing question: Why is VAT imposed on sanitary pads/tampons in Mauritius? You announced the abolition of 30% customs duty on sanitary towels (pads) and tampons during last year’s budgetary measures but unfortunately, VAT is still stinging us and it hurts.
Periods are no luxury.  Any woman will painfully testify to this.  They serve a basic biological function and here to stay, no matter what. They are not welcome but will come anyway. Therefore, sanitary pads/tampons have become necessities.  We simply cannot do without them. Gone are the days of using leaves or pieces of cloth. These products are life savers. They allow us to go about our daily routines such as school, work etcetera. But their prices are relatively expensive and careful monthly budget planning is required to welcome Nature’s deluge.  Imagine the households where females constitute the majority.  It does come to a hefty price tag eventually and VAT simply makes the pill even bitterer to swallow, on top of the cramps and inconveniences. I am sure you will agree that this is a gross injustice towards us. This is sheer taxation on our inevitable biological functions.
Dear Minister, I hope that you will take note of our grievances and do your best to remove VAT imposed on pads/tampons. Women will definitely be highly grateful to you.
Kind regards.