New sanitary pad taxation uncovers India’s archaic period taboos

( CNN) Sanitary pads, an essential need for almost all adult girls, have been placed in a non-essential taxation bracket by the Indian government.

In a astound move, the recently passed Goods and Services Tax bill — which brings all of India under a single tax rates for goods and services for the first time — placed sanitary pads in the lower middle 12% bracket.

The 12% number is ironic, because according to a 2011 study by AC Nielsen, merely 12% of India’s 335 million adult women can afford sanitary pads.