Edinburgh, Scotland – Scotland has become the first country in the whole world to make menstral products lawfully free for everyone who needs them.
On Tuesday, the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed a bill to provide free and universal access to period products such as tampons and pads to everyone in the country.
Under this new bill to allow free access to period products:
- the Scottish Government must set up a Scotland-wide scheme to allow anyone who needs period products to get them free of charge.
- schools, colleges and universities must make a range of period products available for free, in their toilets.
- the Scottish Government will have the power to make other public bodies provide period products for free.
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon retweeted in celebration of the new passed bill and said that she was “proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation.”
After approximately four years of campaigning to end “period poverty,” the Scottish parliament has finally passed the bill to allow everyone in need to have sanitary products and to avoid having circumstances where those who need the products don’t have the access to it due to high expenses.
The “period poverty” was introduced by Labour MSP Monica Lennon on 2016. This indicates to anyone who is in need of period products struggle to afford them. Lennon reminded everyone over the past four years that the period products are a basic necessity and that it is important to provide free access to these products.
While the Scottish government had also made history two years ago by being the first to provide free period products in schools, colleges and universities, Lennon still continued her campaign as she wanted to go further than that by making it a legal requirement to provide free period products to those in need.
During the debate to determine whether to pass the bill, Lennon said that “No one should have to worry about where their next tampon, pad or reusable is coming from.”
“Scotland will not be the last country to consign period poverty to history, but we have the chance to be the first.”Scottish Labour Member of Parliament, Monica Lennon said.
Although this new bill will cost approximately $32 million per year to the Scottish government, Scotland takes pride in being the first country in the world to make period products free for all. The official twitter account of Scotland said that in Scotland, “we believe it’s fundamental to dignity, equality and human rights.”