BBC World: ‘Tampon tax’ around the world

This week, as unofficial international women taboos correspondent, I tackled the tax paid on sanitary products around the world, featuring fabulous Slovakian Diana Fabianova, director of The Moon Inside You:

Half the world’s population needs to use them for a week each month every month for about 30 years.

So why are sanitary products – used to absorb menstrual blood and therefore many would argue essential – taxed?

A campaign launched in a number of countries has had success in Australia where treasurer Joe Hockey has said he will ask state and territory governments to remove the tax on tampons and sanitary towels.


Read more here.

BBC World: Why does Indonesia demand that female military recruits are virgins?

Human rights activists want Indonesia to stop so-called virginity tests being used in the recruitment of female military recruits.

“Bonkers”, “primitive” and “unscientific” are words used to describe it by one of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) researchers who interviewed women who had been subjected to the test.

The World Health Organization has said: “There is no place for virginity testing; it has no scientific validity.”

HRW says the tests are also discriminatory and have no bearing on a woman’s ability to perform her job.

 Continue reading here.