North Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla provided a heated argument to Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim (Wadde)’s comments during the parliamentary debate on cutting GST on sanitary pads and tampons this Wednesday morning.
Many of the lawmakers who spoke during the preliminary debate on the Bill to amend GST Act described cutting GST on sanitary pads and tampons as the lessening of a huge burden on women.
Wadde, also spoke in support of the Bill, but said describing zero GST on sanitary pads and tampons as a relief to women may be confusing to the public.
“Every woman should be under the charge of a man – the father, a brother or a male guardian. Therefore, treating women well, and spending on them is the responsibility of men,” said Wadde.
He said zero GST on sanitary tads and tampons will ease the financial burden on men.
“The responsibility for them, in reality lies on the shoulders of their fathers and husbands. I note it’s better not to forget this and argue this not as a good thing for women, but promote this as an ease of the burden on men to spend on women, to help women,” said Wadde.
Eva, who took offense to the comments, argued that it should be called for what it exactly is, a benefit for women.
“Saying that this is a benefit to men, that this will ease the pockets of men – these are not the words we should speak at this day and age,” said Eva.
THIS IS THE RIGHT OF EVERY WOMAN
Eva said sexist and backward ideas of women needs to stop.
“The number of women who are employed are now fewer. Women’s contribution to the Maldivian economy is no less. The role of women is no less. The staff sitting at the table in front of me are all female. Any the work women do at home without salary – the work of raising children, looking after elderly parents and maintaining the household – this is all walk that deserve salary even if none is paid,” said Eva.
She said sanitary pads and tampons were not luxury or optional products such as a bottle of perfume, but a basic product ever woman has to spend on each month.
“This is something we cannot do without. This is the right of every woman,” said Eva.