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Scotland has become the first country in the world to make menstrual products free of charge.
The Period Products Act was unanimously approved by Scotland’s parliament in November 2020, making Scotland the first country in the world to legally enshrine the right to free menstrual products.
The Period Products Act was introduced by Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Monica Lennon aimed at tackling “period poverty,” the bill says, aiming to help those who need menstrual products but struggle to afford them.
The Scottish government had already made efforts to provide menstrual products to those in need; however, Lennon wanted to take it a step further by making it a legal requirement.
Scotland leads world in access to menstrual products
“I’m grateful to them and the thousands of people who have got involved across the country,” Lennon said. “As the cost of living crisis takes hold, the Period Products Act is a beacon of hope which shows what can be achieved when politicians come together for the good of the people we serve.”
Proud of what we have achieved in Scotland. We are the first but won’t be the last. 🏴🩸🙌#PeriodDignity #FreePeriodProducts #MenstrualJustice follow @Period_Poverty for updates. https://t.co/8bFTML3MkK
— Monica Lennon MSP (@MonicaLennon7) August 15, 2022
In 2018, the Scottish government announced that students in schools, colleges and universities across the country would be able to access sanitary products for free, through a £5.2 million ($6.3 million) investment. In 2019, it allocated another £4 million ($4.85 million) to make period products available without charge in libraries and recreational centers.
Lennon hopes that Scotland will not be the last country to pass such a needed law. London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, shared in that sentiment saying “now it’s time for the UK Govt to follow suit and put an end to period poverty.”
A monumental day for #PeriodDignity. Credit to the many campaigners, trade unionists and @MonicaLennon7 who made this a reality. Now it's time for the UK Govt to follow suit and put an end to period poverty. @UnitetheUnion @Period_Poverty https://t.co/Ytm6B2jL5A
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) August 15, 2022
What do you think, will more countries follow Scotland’s lead and make menstrual products a human right?