A German company is selling tampons as books to fight a heavy tax on feminine hygiene products

A German company is selling tampons as books to fight a heavy tax on feminine hygiene products

In Germany, tampons are a luxury item because of a 19% tax rate. So a German company has created a new design that inserts 15 tampons into a book so it can be sold at the book’s 7% tax rate. In China, the tax rate on tampons is as high as 17%. The tax on tampons in different countries is ridiculously large.


Menstruation is part of a woman’s life cycle, symbolizing female maturity, but often bringing all kinds of inconvenience and trouble. In ancient times, people worshipped menstruation as a symbol of fertility, and menstruation was a mysterious existence. With the rise of male fertility worship, menstruation became taboo. To this day, menstruation is not a topic for most women to talk about in public.

It is estimated that every woman uses at least 10,000 tampons in her lifetime. Women learn to live with their cycles, and that means dealing with pain and blood every month; Try to maintain high energy and emotional stability; Calculate whether you need to get pregnant and how to prevent pregnancy… These skills were unspeakable in a bygone age, and needed to be passed secretly from woman to woman; Today, despite widespread advertising for tampons, advertisers use a blue liquid instead of blood to mask menstrual pain.


To some extent, the history of menstruation being taboo is the history of women’s rights being overshadowed.

In Germany, feminine hygiene products are heavily taxed at 19% on luxury items, while many truly luxury items, such as truffles and caviar, are taxed at 7%. Protesters say the 12 percent increase shows society’s disregard for women’s biology. Therefore, a large number of social groups asked the German government to lower the tax rate, and even make feminine hygiene products duty-free. But so far the German government has shown no intention of backing down.

In line with The idea that feminine hygiene products should be treated as a commodity, a company called The Female has embedded 15 tampons into a book so that they can be calculated using The book’s tax rate, which is 7%, for just €3.11 a copy. The tampon book, which has sold about 10,000 copies, is even more profound as a statement of defiance. The Female has embedded tampons in books so they can be sold at The book’s tax rate, which is 7%.

Kraus, co-founder of The Female, said: ‘The history of menstruation is full of myths and repression. Even now, the subject remains taboo. Remember, when the tax rate was decided in 1963, 499 men and 36 women voted. We women have to stand up and challenge these decisions with a new perspective of modern independent women.”

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The book is also co-authored by British artist Ana Curbelo, who created 46 pages of illustrations that use simple lines to outline the life of women during their period and the various situations they may encounter, to show and discuss the issue in a humorous way. Curbelo sees his work as a mirror in which people can see themselves. These works show the images of women with rich features, not only fearless modern women, but also restore the relaxed and natural daily state of women. In academic circles, there has long been the concept of “Period Poverty”, which refers to the fact that in order to save money on tampons, some families at the bottom make young women only use two tampons a day, which may cause some diseases. The push for Tax relief for women’s physiological products has become an international trend, and in fact, there have been more vitriol written about the creation of a Tax on female physiological products since 2015, when Paula Sherriff, a British Labour MP, proposed that the government’s Tax on these products is a Added Tax on women’s Vagina.

Since 2004, the governments of Canada, the United States, Jamaica, Nicaragua and other countries have been exempting the vagina tax. At present, Sweden’s tax rate is as high as 25%, followed by Germany and Russia. In the East, most consumers are unaware of the 17% tax levied in China.

As a matter of fact, different countries levy different amounts on women’s products, which also causes the price difference of sanitary products in different countries. As for the price difference of sanitary products in different countries, although we cannot make a hasty conclusion about the situation of women’s rights and interests in different countries, it seems to be an interesting entry point.

Post time: May-31-2022