Parliamentary questions
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10 December 2015
O-000158/2015
Question for oral answer O-000158/2015
to the Commission
Rule 128
Jane Collins, Margot Parker, Louise Bours, on behalf of the EFDD Group

 Subject: VAT

Given that sanitary products are needed exclusively by women as part of their biological make-up, how can the decision to charge 5 % VAT on tampons not contravene EU gender equality law, in particular Council Directive 2004/113/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services? As stated in point 3.10 of the report entitled ‘EU Gender Equality Law, Update 2013’:

‘[Directive 2004/113/EC] is the first directive addressing gender equality issues outside the field of employment. The preamble to this Directive recognises that discrimination based on sex, including harassment and sexual harassment, also takes place in areas outside the labour market and can be equally damaging, acting as a barrier to the full and successful integration of men and women into economic and social life.

Directive 2004/113/EC applies to all persons who provide goods and services which are available to the public both in the public and private sectors, including public bodies, and which are offered outside the area of private and family life and the transactions carried out in this context’.

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