FINALLY the tampon tax has been axed. It's a change that generations of men and women have pushed for, but what does it really mean to abolish a tax on sanitary products? Well, the answer isn't just about saving money. It signifies an important social change that I hope will benefit women up and down the country.
Tampon tax didn't just plague our wallets. Yes, dealing with periods in the only socially acceptable way possible is an unfair expense and tampon tax did add up, especially for homeless women and those who find it difficult to afford sanitary products. But for the first time this week, we won't just be saving money each and every month. Oh no. This axe means more than that. Tampon tax represented an outdated bias that overlooked issues associated with women and trans men. It was a rhetoric that told women they did not matter. Through a protest driven primarily by passionate and fearless women, we have not only proven this idea to be wrong, but we have forced it to come to an end, once and for all. Women have changed history again, and that's something we should all be immensely proud of. Women matter. We won't stand for being treated unfairly and we're one step closer to beating gender inequality in Britain.
By ending tampon tax, we also challenged society in another unusual way. We hit back against the period taboo that has held women back for decades in so many ways. For some reason, menstruation has become a difficult subject to discuss. Periods have become embarrassing and female specific issues have been hidden away from the ears and eyes of society. Numerous health issues related to menstruation have been left undiscussed because it is embarrassing to do so. I remember discovering what toxic shock syndrome was when I spoke with my schoolmates about periods as if we were undercover agents exchanging state secrets.
Essentially, society needs to grow up. There's nothing wrong with the word 'period'. There's no dark magic here. Fear of the name will only harm us, and develop fear in the thing itself. Now that we have forced the EU to stop taxing periods, let's hope the period talk flows and that women continue to speak up for equal representation and fair treatment. PERIOD.
To all of the 300,000 supporters of my Change.org and the tireless campaigners that protests on the streets with me numerous times over the past two years, I want to say a final huge thank you and congratulations. YOU are the ones who have changed history. Without you, this would never have been possible and generations more women may well have been subject to the illogical and overtly sexist tampon tax. For the first time in two years, I can say WELL DONE, WE DID IT!!
HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today. Through blogs, features and video, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you'd like to blog on our platform around these topics, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a summary of who you are and what you'd like to blog about