India: Training on Tax Justice, Women’s Rights & Gender Justice

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"More than ever it is clear that our current global tax system is not sustainable. it has been contributing to aggravate social inequalities, burdening especially poor and women, and now is the time to rethink and transform it", said Joy Hernandez, Asia Campaigns & Policy Coordinator at the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. 

Members of the National Hawkers Federation and All India Women Hawkers Federation participated in a training conducted by the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, which is part of the Tax and Fiscal Justice Asia (TAFJA). The training aimed to deepen the knowledge of the participants on the basic principles of tax and gender justice. It also intended for the participants to develop a better understanding of the five key demands of the Asian and global campaign to make taxes work for women.

The small group discussions were interactive and lively. Two groups were assigned to map out the different activities that they do daily. The results showed that women have a bigger share of unpaid care and domestic work, while men are mostly focused on productive work. Some women, who also work outside of the household, still have to do their care work and domestic work and have barely no time for rest. The participants shared that in Indian culture, women are traditionally assigned the care work and domestic work. While some men in the family help out, it remains a big challenge to redistribute unpaid care work and domestic work among the household members. It was interesting though that the discussion made the male participants of the training realize that the burdens on women are multiple and that there is a need to share such burdens.

Meanwhile, the two other groups were tasked to create a budget for a six-member household based on a low income of INR7000. It is interesting to note that the group composed of women were able to not only make a detailed and realistic budget, but also reflect on the economic burden borne by low-income households. The members of the group expounded that the tax burden in the form of GST is an added burden to poor families and yet, such taxes are not utilized into free, quality and gender-responsive public services. For instance, when women hawkers need to use the toilet, they have to pay 5 rupees.
The participants’ reflections from the group activities became the starting point of the discussion on the five demands to make taxes work for women.

About Make Taxes Work for Women

Together with its regional members and partners, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice organizes each year the Global Days of Action  Make Taxes Work for Women in March, to highlight the campaign for the maximization of public budget through fair and progressive taxation in order to fund gender-responsive public services and social protection systems. In 2020, we celebrate the 4th edition of the Days of Action, now a continuous initiative to ensure that tax justice becomes an integral part of the fight for women’s rights and gender equality.

Our demands
1. Stop illicit financial flows and harmful tax practices that facilitate tax avoidance and evasion and are biased towards wealthy countries and multinational corporations
2. Reduce unfair tax burdens on women and adopt progressive and gender just taxation 
3. Remove gender bias and discrimination in tax policies and laws
4. Ensure tax and fiscal policies recognise and serve to represent, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work
5. Increase allocation of tax revenues for gender responsive social services

Read more about the campaign here.

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