Blog Posts

Article in Welt Zeitung: Tampon petition lands in the Parliament

June 2, 2019

Tampons, sanitary towels and menstrual cups are subject to a VAT rate of 19%.

Source: pa/KEYSTONE/ALEXANDRA WEY

Critics complain that 19 percent VAT is due for tampons and bandages. They see this as discrimination against women. A petition to this effect has been launched - and is now being discussed by the Bundestag.

The petitions committee of the Bundestag has to deal with the demand to lower the taxes on tampons and bandages. An online petition to this effect has received more than 81,000 signatures in about four weeks - the quorum for a consultation in the Bundestag is 50,000.

The petition was launched by the online magazine "Neon" and the start-up unicorn, which is known for vegan condoms. Under the motto #keinluxus, they had intensively promoted their cause on social networks - and gained prominent supporters such as the singer Lena Meyer-Landrut and the presenters Charlotte Roche, Palina Rojinski and Jan Böhmermann.

The petition criticises that the normal VAT rate of 19 percent applies to tampons, sanitary towels and menstrual cups - and not the reduced rate of seven percent, which is intended for important everyday goods. "The period is inevitable," the authors write. "This is not a luxury and should not be taxed as such". The high VAT rate discriminates against women because they would not have chosen their monthly period.

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The initiators must now be heard in the Bundestag committee. They may already have supporters, as CDU politician Marcus Weinberg recently called for lower taxes on feminine hygiene products.

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Stadt-Tübingen for automatic feminine hygiene machines

April 5, 2019

Against hygienic poverty

Women's hygiene articles in secondary schools

Application of the SPD parliamentary group of December 1, 2018

At secondary schools in Tübingen, vending machines with feminine hygiene articles are made available. If necessary, this will initially be introduced as a model project at a single school or in the Mensa Uhlandstraße.

The association TIMA, the GEB and the executive school management are involved in the development.

Reason:
There are calculations that women spend over 20,000€ per period during their lifetime. Therefore, there are discussions as to whether feminine hygiene items should be distributed free of charge. In Scotland, schools and universities distribute sanitary towels and tampons free of charge to schoolgirls and students.

In the context of the event for the day against violence against women on 25.11.2019 in the town hall the desire was expressed that appropriate automats are set up in T?bbinger schools.

For the SPD faction
Dorothea Kliche-Behnke

And that, too:

Süddeutsche from 7. Dezember 2018

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The dignity of every woman is untouchable!

May 24, 2020

The dignity of every woman is untouchable!

Our goal is to ensure that women feel comfortable and safe no matter where they are, even in unexpected situations.

It very often happens that women unexpectedly get their menstruation, become incontinent or experience a haemorrhoidal incident - and do not have an immediate SOS solution.

Such situations can happen anywhere, whether in schools, companies, restaurants, clubs, sports halls, shopping malls, public transport, etc. And many women have to make do with unhygienic means in order not to have to cancel their appointments.

That must not happen, not in this modern society in which we live!

MeritaCare is The World of Women!

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Interview with Startup Valley!

July 19, 2018

meritaCare operates vending machines with feminine hygiene articles that are filled with tampons and bandages.

Just introduce yourself and the Startup meritaCare to our readers!
My name is Rhoda Fideler. I am 34 years old and founder of meritaCare. I was born in Kenya and have been living in Germany for 14 years. I am married, mother and trained as a nurse. My startup meritaCare operates vending machines with feminine hygiene items, which are installed in the feminine toilets in public areas such as companies, cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, indoor swimming pools, sports halls, etc.. The machines are filled with tampons and bandages. Women and girls can thus quickly and discreetly obtain the required hygiene articles during their most vulnerable moments.

How did the idea for meritaCare come about?
Everything starts with a story. My story starts when I was 13 years old. Shortly before the end of school I got my period, and I was completely unprepared. With a homemade bandage and red spots on my skirt I ran home. Full of shame I didn't want to go to school the next day but just hide at home.

I had almost suppressed the story when I saw a documentary last year about a young homeless woman telling her story. She said of how she had her menstruation, how she could not afford a sanitary towel or a tampon (which later led me to collect tampons and sanitary towel and donate to the Tettnanger Tafel, because poverty is not just a lack of food). Immediately my memories came back. Then I began to observe myself and my surroundings. I noticed that there it is a big problem for women, but women still don't like to talk about it.

As a nurse I've always been surrounded by women, and the most question asked is: "Can you lend me a tampon or a sanitary towel? I knew then that I had to provide women with a flexible, quick and discreet access to hygiene products.

What is the vision behind meritaCare?
My vision is that women feel comfortable and safe, especially in their most vulnerable phase, no matter where they are, because feminine hygiene items are accessible everywhere through my vending machines. Not only for menstruation but also other hushed up issues such as incontinence, hemorrhoidal fall, increased vaginal discharge due to endometriosis, menopause, pregnancy etc. But my vision goes beyond the mere supply of hygiene items. I would like to achieve a change of consciousness. We women do not have to be ashamed for being women and for our basic needs.

From the idea to the start. What have been the biggest challenges so far and how have you financed yourself?
Because the idea is completely new and a ´Tabu topic´, it is partly difficult with male interlocutors to create the necessary understanding for this business idea. To find a manufacturer that manufactures vending machines according to my quality expectations was also difficult, I had to do a lot of research until I found one. Starting a startup on your own is not easy because you have to make all decisions on your own. Thank God I have a husband and a daughter who back me up and motivate me. So far I have managed to finance it myself. Apart from that I knew that the way I would go would not be easy.

Who is the target group of meritaCare?
The world view of women has changed dramatically. Today, women are on the move a lot, both professionally and privately. Our meritaCare vending machines are for women and girls who are active and want to enjoy their lives. No matter if business meeting or shopping: meritaCare is your ´Plan B´. Girls aged 12 and over.. and women of all ages can make use of our service.

How does meritaCare work?
I run the feminine hygiene vending machines myself in many public areas such as cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, companies, indoor swimming pools, etc., but also sell the vending machines. meritaCare vending machines are located in the feminine toilets and are therefore accessible to all women and girls. As a customer you only have to insert a coin, choose whether you want a tampon or a sanitary towel and receive the desired product immediately.

What advantages does meritaCare offer?
Both vending machines and feminine hygiene articles are established, but the combination of both and thus the quick access to tampons and sanitary towel has not yet existed, and this is the real innovation and authenticity of meritaCare. The feminine hygiene machines help women in their most vulnerable moments to make their everyday lives - both professional and private - easier and to enjoy their lives wherever they are. They offer fast service, hygienically flawless products and a gain in time and safety for women.

meritaCare, where is the way to go? Where do you see yourself in five years?
The future is female. MeritaCare wants to establish itself in the German market, offer its services to women throughout the country and grow into a successful franchise company.

Finally: What 3 tips would you give to prospective founders?
To believe in God and to be patient is important for me because it gives me hope. With God everything is possible.

Arise like the sun: You are the bearer of a vision.

Don't expect others to understand you.Game changer: You may rewrite the rules, but you have to be authentic.

Further information can be found here

We would like to thank Rhoda Fideler for the interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial staff and the publisher.

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Yes to MeritaCare!

July 16, 2018

Women are on the move a lot today (professionally and privately). When a menstruation accident happens, women rush to the ladies' toilets to help themselves. For these emergency situations there was unfortunately no solution in public ladies toilets, and women had to make do with unhygienic means. That is the end of it! MeritaCare women's hygiene vending machines enable women to buy hygiene articles flexibly and comfortably in all women's toilets. MeritaCare The World of Women!

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MeritaCare
Rhoda Fideler
Im Hof 16
88069 Tettnang
Germany
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