Scotland makes period products freely available to all women
LONDON (AP) — Scotland has unanimously passed legislation that will make period products freely available to all women, which according to campaigners makes it the first country to do so.
Lawmakers in the Scottish Parliament unanimously approved a bill late Tuesday that will require local authorities to provide free access to items such as tampons and sanitary pads.
Monica Lennon, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, had campaigned against so-called period poverty since 2016, and described the legislation as “practical and progressive" especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Periods don’t stop for pandemics and the work to improve access to essential tampons, pads and reusables has never been more important," she said.
“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," she said.
Her bill was passed in a 121-0 vote after winning the support of the Scottish government and the other opposition parties in the legislature in Edinburgh.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell from the Scottish National Party hailed the passing of the legislation as a “significant moment for gender equality."
And Rose Caldwell, chief executive of the charity Plan International U.K., said that with this legislation, “Scotland could soon become the first country in the world to eliminate period poverty once and for all, and with household finances under strain from the coronavirus restrictions, the need has never been greater."