Make Taxes Work for Women 2020: Highlights in Asia
Tax and Fiscal Justice Asia mobilised members, partners and citizens across Asia during our Global Days of Action to Make Taxes Work for Women, highlight of a campaign to advocate for the maximization of public budget through fair and progressive taxation in order to fund gender-responsive public services and social protection systems.
"Once again, APMDD explained in a vibrant regional statement, we call attention to the different and disproportionate ways by which women’s lives are negatively affected by tax and fiscal policies, on the one hand, and on the other hand, how tax revenues or revenues foregone from illicit financial flows can and should be mobilized to fund critical and essential services women need and support other measures needed to address inequalities. Life should have much more to offer. Women knew this when they marched for bread and roses, when they rejected convention to assert their right to education and the right to vote, when they defied social taboos to speak out against violence, when they marched for the right to work and equal wages".
Thousands of Indian Hawkers March in Kolkata
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Thousands of hawkers from different Indian States marched with the All India Women Hawkers Federation in the streets of Kolkata on February 29th. It was also the opportunity to celebrate the National Hawkers’ Federation 50th anniversary and raise their voice on several issues that they face in the country.
Besides defending tax justice measures for gender equality, they reinforced the urgency of putting a high priority on the climate and workers' rights agenda. The participants also protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which is a controversial law recently approved by the government, and called for an end in fascism and patriarchy in India.
APMDD Organizes Training for Hawkers in India
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On March 2nd, the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development, which is part of the Tax and Fiscal Justice Asia (TAFJA), organised a training on tax and gender for hawkers in India, as part of our Make Taxes Work for Women global campaign. Members of the National Hawkers Federation and the All India Women Hawkers Federation had the opportunity to learn the importance of tax justice for gender equality and our proposals to improve the global tax system in order to ensure the countries invest more in gender-responsive public services.
Throughout the training, the participants had group dynamics to map out their daily activities and consumption behavior, so they could have an overview of some issues and discuss solutions.
"The participants shared that in Indian culture, women are traditionally responsible for the care and domestic work. Even though some men proactively help their families, it is still a big challenge to redistribute unpaid care and domestic work among the household members", said Joy Hernandez, Asia Campaigns & Policy Coordinator at the Global Alliance for Tax Justice.
The groups also discussed how the Good and Services Tax is an extra burden to low-income families and yet it has not been applied to provide the population with quality and gender-responsive public services.
International Women's Day March in Philippines
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As an active member of the Tax and Fiscal Justice Asia (TAFJA), Oriang has always responded to the call of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) in its demand to "Make Taxes Work for Women" during the Global Days of Action on Tax Justice for Women’s Rights. In March, Oriang and other sectoral organizations in the Philippines marched to Mendiola to commemorate the International Women’s Day. In addition to the many demands of women in the context of increasing economic hardships, public health crisis, and climate change, they also called for a stop to the Duterte administration’s corporate-coddling tax policies and demanded for more public spending on social services.
“Governments across the world increasingly rely on consumption taxes instead of directly taxing corporations and the wealthy. This means that the poor, especially women, have to spend a bigger share of their income to pay for goods and services, while multinational corporations rake in huge profits from abusing tax breaks and exploiting tax avoidance schemes. Women’s lives can improve through adequate public service delivery, which requires that we put a stop to corporate tax abuse and allocate more for social spending” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), a leading member of the Tax and Fiscal Justice Asia (TAFJA).
Banging pots and pans, the women held a noise barrage to highlight the call to “make taxes work for women”, pressing the government to reduce unfair tax burden on women and instead use tax reform as a tool for government to put in place various programs that economically empower the poor and enable women to fully enjoy their rights. Watch the video here.
More quotes from Oriang and Metro Manila Vendors Alliance, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice and the Freedom from Debt Movement can be found in the press release.
You can also read APMDD's Statement "Women, Make Noise for Tax Justice! Make Taxes Work for Women!".
New #8for8 Photo call
In line with International Women’s Day’s celebrations, TAFJA and APMDD also launched their second #8for8 photo call online. After the successfull first #8for8 campaign, which ran from Aurgust 2018 to March 2019, the new edition of #8for8 is called "Women For Tax Justice Online Photo Journal" and hosted on the Women4TaxJustice Facebook page.
This new campaign will run from March to October: Join the initiative with 5 simple steps!