Video Volunteers advocates to reduce the price of menstrual products for rural women in India
Video Volunteers (VV) runs India's only reporting network that is focused exclusively on providing broad coverage from the poorest, most media-dark districts in India. Their newest video campaign, 12% GST on Menstrual Hygiene Products: Rural Women Speak Out, brings forward the new decision of the Indian government implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on menstrual hygiene products, now considered a “luxury” commodity.
There has been a surge in social media articles and online petitions regarding the taxing of sanitary napkins. Women students in Thiruvananthapuram even mailed crate loads of sanitary napkins with the message ‘bleed without fear, bleed without tax’ to the finance minister. While the mainstream media focused on women from the urban, middle class, using social media to air their grievances, voices of rural women remain unheard. VV focuses on this community of women who are caught between the expense of sanitary napkins and the stigma of menstrual blood. Rural women are left without viable, hygienic options and those suffering from reproductive tract infections are often led to believe that hysterectomy is their only option.