When it comes to women, Federal law states that sanitary products, which includes tampons and sanitary towels are exempt from taxation.
However, taxes vary on a state-by-state basis, with 40 out of 50 US states choosing to enforce the so-called tampon tax.
But lawmakers in Wisconsin are moving towards abolishing the tax on menstruation, after all there's already a sales tax exemption for treating erectile dysfunction in the state.
Representative Melissa Sargent, a Democrat from Madison who sponsored a bill that calls for lawmakers to exempt feminine hygiene products from the state sales tax, told NPR:
Women's health has been misunderstood and neglected throughout history.
Some women are ashamed of their period.
The move comes as a reminder that the UK imposes a 5 per cent tax on female sanitary products, considering them to be "luxury items" while crocodile meat and chocolate body paint are exempt from taxation.
A campaign petitioning chancellor George Osborne to abolish this tax has been gaining traction with over 300,000 signatures to date.
Periods are no luxury. You can ‘opt-in’ to extravagance. You cannot choose to menstruate. Despite this, a whole heap of disadvantages have been created for those who do. Not using sanitary products can lead to health risks, jeopardise maintaining a normal, professional or personal life, and result in public ridicule, the website states.
Sanitary products fall under an agreement made by EU- member states in 1979, and a 17.5 per cent tax was initially imposed, and then reduced to five per cent in 2000.
As a result of EU membership, the UK cannot remove the taxation without first consulting the other 27 member states.
David Cameron could, however, propose a review of current EU taxation policy and make the issue a priority.
In response to a question posed by a student about lifting VAT on sanitary products filmed by Sky last year, he summed up his position on the matter:
It’s quite difficult to do it within the frame work of European laws. I can’t remember the answer.
Well, there you have it. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom can't remember the answer to why female sanitary products are taxed.