In the context of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s Global Days of Action on #TaxJustice for #WomensRights, titled “Make Taxes Work for Women!“, many blogs were published in March:
As an overview of the campaign’s goals, and its specificities in the Latin American region, Verónica Serafini Geoghegan published a blog titled “Tax Justice Is Essential to Reduce Gender Gaps”. A feminist Paraguayan economist and member of LATINDADD and Red de Justicia Fiscal de América Latina y el Caribe, she demonstrates how “to end violence, ensure women’s economic autonomy and balance in the domestic work, we must increase investments in public services: Taxes are the most sustainable source of financing for these budgets”.
From Colombia’s Cedetrabajo, Daniela Mora Saavedra gave an assessment of the “Tax-free period” campaign in the country since 2016, “a triumph against discrimination” that started with a study in 2016 and led to the Court ordering the elimination of VAT on sanitary pads and tampons in 2018. “When we think about the economic progress of women in Colombia and how to achieve it, the first thing that stands out is the need to take categorical actions so that gender equality is not a slogan but a reality”. Daniela recalls a “collective effort to find another model of society in this unequal country”, within the Gender and Economic Justice group created within the Red de Justicia Tributaria in Colombia, “an initiative of academic women, students, activists, workers, among others, to carry out research, advocacy, proposals and mobilization on issues related to gender equality in the field of economic and tax policies in the country“… Above all, she says, these efforts aimed at showing “the population that it is legitimate to fight for their economic and social rights — in this case, against tax injustice. We have already achieved a tax-free period but there is still a long road ahead: we must urge the government to make the price reduction effective and to continue advocating for other initiatives that allow us to win other battles against discrimination, not only in Colombia, but in Latin America”.
From Guatemala, Ana Cevallos published a blog about the impact of the VAT/ISV rates on poverty and equality in Central America. Titled “Inequality policies: the indirect taxes case”, it was also published in El Mundo.
“Gender inequality provides the market with labor, without any concerns about who will be responsible for cooking, cleaning, buying essential household goods, and doing the domestic work. This is how an excluding system is built: care work is required for the system to function but, in turn, women are excluded from it. (…) Our laws, policies and public finances can aggravate the systemic and structural inequalities”. An economist and researcher at the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales, ICEFI), Ana Cevallos explains the outcomes of ICEFI’s report “How does an increase in the VAT/Sales Tax rates affect people’s well-being?” (“¿Cómo afecta al bienestar de las personas un aumento en la tasa del IVA/ISV?“). ICEFI also circulated supporting teach-in videos:
From Argentina, Julieta Izcurdia wrote a piece about gender public budgeting, titled “Analyzing Budgets With a Gender Perspective: A Key Tool for Gender Equality”. A lawyer in the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights department at the Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ), Julieta Izcurdia stresses the role of civil society as “fundamental to analyze how budgets can eliminate gender gaps, promote equality and reverse discrimination in the access to human rights” and presents ACIJ’s guide “Budget Analysis With Gender Perspective. Manual for Activists and Civil Society Organizations”, which is supported by online video tutorials as well. “Although the examples focus on the national budget, the methodology is perfectly replicable for studying the resources of other levels of government or other comparable budget systems”, Julieta Izcurdia notes.
All these Latin American articles and more will be published in a dedicated magazine, Fiscalidad y Género en América Latina, by the Red de Justicia Fiscal of Latin America & the Caribbean. For more information on this Revista, you can contact Adrián Falco.
Partner of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, the Public Services International also participated in our campaign Make Taxes Work for Women. María Rosario Dávila Loayza, coordinator of the PSI Peru National Women’s Committee, made an analysis of the national report published by the Peruvian government on the country’s progress in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, currently available only in Spanish.
From Kenya, Tax Justice Network Africa’s Cynthia Umurungi wrote a piece for Open Democracy, titled “Every cent lost to tax havens could be used to strengthen our health & social systems”.
“The health crisis coincided with our Days of action, Umurungi introduces. Our point is: taxes are the most sustainable source of funding for public budgets and a tool to redress many forms of inequalities, and, in order to ensure that our social services will have funding, we need to tackle harmful tax practices including tax avoidance and tax evasion.”
Another global perspective – and the only one published by men! – came from Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s Executive Coordinator Dereje Alemayehu and Tax Justice Network Africa’s Executive Director Alvin Mosioma: In a piece titled “We need Tax Justice to finance Gender Equality”, they outline how the Covid-linked cancellation of UNCSW “happened just when activists were readying to challenge UNCSW not to limit itself to rhetoric and lamentations when dealing with the lagging behind of each member state in progress towards gender equality and to address the elephant in the room – the financing of women’s rights!“.
On the Tax Justice Network Africa website, South African researcher and activist Tamara Naidoo also published a piece titled “Where Are the Women in the International Banana Trade?”, where she proposes to “consider how the low price of bananas works, where women are in the global trade of bananas, and sketch out illicit financial flows within the process”.
Canadians for Tax Fairness published its analysis about tax and gender justice in the country on their website, stating “Canada needs more progressive fiscal policies to reach gender equality”: Despite the measures for gender equality, Canada still has one of the largest gender wage gaps of OECD members and has among the least affordable childcare of wealthy countries.
Public Services International (PSI) also published a blog in English and Spanish, on a global scope, stating why it joins the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and member and partner organisations in countries around the world taking part in the Global Days of Action, March 8 – 20, 2020, to demand governments to make taxes work for women: “The rights of women and girls around the world are being threatened by discriminatory global, regional and national tax policies. This denies governments budgets of a key source of funding for public services, such as healthcare, education and clean water, that is critical to realising women’s rights and gender equality. (…) In addition to being disproportionately harmful to women and girls, current tax policies are also generally more beneficial to men”.
To find out more about the Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s Global Days of Action on #TaxJustice for #WomensRights, click on “Make Taxes Work for Women!“!