Scotland has become the first nation in the world that provides tampons and sanitary towels for free. The landmark legislation under the Period Products Bill means that councils and education providers must have them available.
The Scottish Government reported that Scotland “invested more than £27 million to fund access in a range of public settings” and through enforcing this new regulation, the progress is expected to increase.
Monica Lennon from Labour Health proposed the bill and saw it passed in November 2020. It is expected to help relieve a little bit of strain for those struggling with poverty. It received unanimous approval by MSPs after the Scottish Government expressed their support along with the opposition party in Holyrood.
She dubbed it a “practical and progressive” legislation that had become essential due to the pandemic. She’s always focused her work on eliminating period poverty since she was elected to Holyrood in 2016.
“Periods don’t stop for pandemics, and the work to improve access to essential tampons, pads, and reusables has never been more important,” said the woman.
“On the issue of period dignity, I am beyond proud that Scotland is leading the way, and we have moved at a fast pace in a short space of time.”
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison spoke today, “Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity and removes the financial barriers to accessing them.”
“This is more important than ever at a time when people are making difficult choices due to the cost of living crisis, and we never want anyone to be in a position where they cannot access period products.”
“Since 2018, we have delivered ground-breaking action by providing free period products for pupils and students in all our schools, colleges, and universities. We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action.”
“The work we are doing in Scotland continues to be world-leading, going goes beyond the provision of free products. We have also provided funding for an educational website for employers, run a successful anti-stigma campaign, and improved menstrual health resources available for schools. I’m grateful to all the young women and girls who have been crucial in developing the best ways to access products to meet their needs.”
PickupMyPeriod is a mobile app created by Hey Girls, a social enterprise, to find the closest pickup point for sanitary products.
The founder Celia Hodson spoke about the product, “The Period Product Act shows Scotland is leading the way in recognizing that period products are not a luxury and should be freely available to all.”