- Ekta Kapoor, Konkona Sen and Ratna Pathak Shah said women should take control of our bodies and talk about periods without embarrassment.
- They also said sanitary napkins shouldn't be taxed at 12 per cent under GST as it is a necessity.
- Only 12 per cent of India's female population has access to sanitary napkins; others use newspapers, dry leaves and cloth.
A section of the Bollywood fraternity spoke about an event that occurs in a woman’s life every month. Periods, they said, is a natural occurence and there’s nothing to be shy or embarrassed about it. These voices of wisdom came from Ekta Kapoor, Konkona Sen and Ratna Pathak Shah.
At the trailer launch of their new film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, the three ladies said there’s a silence surrounding menstruation. “We have to stop using words like 'that time of the month' or other things. Say it, I have my periods. There is nothing to be shy or embarrassed about,” said Kapoor.
But it’s not just periods that people are uncomfortable with. Even the subject of a woman’s body doesn’t get discussed. Shah said she had worked with an NGO to talk about how a girl’s body develops as she grows but the teachers weren’t supportive.
If there was a defining message the ladies had to give, it was this: let’s take control of our bodies by speaking about it more often and let those voices be heard. If this happens, then the government will perhaps listen to what are women’s necessities i.e., a sanitary napkin
Currently, sanitary napkins are taxed at 12 per cent under the GST. But they, like many other women in the country believe it shouldn’t be taxed at all.
“If you don't have any control over your bodily function, how can it be considered to be taxed under luxury goods. It's not like you'll voluntarily say 'I won't put out my AC tonight'. It's not the same thing,” Times of India quoted Sen as saying.
The debate surrounding tax on sanitary napkins has inspired lots of women to speak out against the issue. They believe the government’s decision to tax sanitary napkins will make it seem like a luxury when in fact it is a necessity.
According to a study conducted by SheSays, only 12 per cent of India’s female population has access to sanitary napkins. The other 88 per cent use other items like cloth, dried leaves and newspapers. This presents a whole range of health problems for the woman but the government has instead made other items like sindoor and bindis tax free.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:59 PM IST