Ban on import of key materials to produce sanitary napkins is forcing Pakistani women to go pad-less
A ban imposed on the import of key materials to produce sanitary napkins by the Pakistani government is forcing Pakistani women to go padless. The decision has sparked criticism as the decision is depriving a major chunk of the country's population to use them.
In a move to help boost the country's faltering economy, Pakistan had said it would ban the import of over 30 luxury items but activists were flabbergasted when raw materials were required to make pads, which are the go-to choice of Pakistani women, were included in this list.
According to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, "My decision to ban (the) import of luxury items will save the country precious foreign exchange."
In Pakistan, Procter and Gamble's brands Always and Santex make sanitary napkins, under the name 'Butterfly', and account for 84 per cent share of the market.
Always share has dropped from 68 per cent to 60 per cent after the ban was imposed according to Foresight Consumer Panel Data.
"Though all of our products are produced in Pakistan, two of the core raw materials that form the base of the napkin are imported. The ban would mean the factory would have to shut down eventually because we can’t manufacture them anymore after the current supply runs out," Muhammad Kamran, Chief Operating Officer of Santex told Images.
"[These] are basic raw materials utilised in the manufacturing of female sanitary napkins. These items are neither tissues nor luxury but are included in S.No 63 of the SRO."
"We've sent an application to the Ministry of Commerce that will take 15 to 20 days to review. We're hoping for a positive response," he added.
Although several alternatives are available for sanitary napkins because they are fairly new and pads are familiar the switch can prove daunting.
Using menstrual cups or period panties can be better alternatives in terms of the impact on the environment.