Turkey’s leading political satire magazine, LeMan, devoted its cover to women’s menstrual products last week, depicting a woman looking desperately at a sanitary pad flying away in the air. It was a lampoon of the extent to which Turkey’s economic turmoil has eroded purchasing power, sparking a campaign to lower the prices of sanitary pads, which have become unaffordable for millions of women.
Turkey’s government-run statistical institute says consumer inflation hit 36.08% in 2021, while independent researchers put the figure as high as 82.81%. According to the institute, the price of sanitary pads rose by nearly 60% over a year to reach 1.05 liras ($0.08) per piece in December. Menstrual products are among the goods on which the government levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) of 18%.