The Scottish parliament, in February, approved the legislation to make sanitary products freely available to all women. In doing so, it became the first nation ever to approve such a plan.
The bill, called the Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill, passed through its first stage with 112 votes in favour, none against, and one abstention. It will now move to the second phase, where members of the devolved Scottish parliament can propose any amendments and changes. Post this phase, it will move to the third stage, where it will be given final consideration.
This legislation would ensure free universal access to menstrual products such as sanitary pads and tampons available at designated public centres such as youth clubs, pharmacies, and community centres.
This will cost the government a total of 24.1 million pounds.
Monica Lennon, the proposer of the bill, said passing it would be a “milestone moment for normalising menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality.”
“This is a chance to put them first and do something that is truly groundbreaking on gender equality,” she said.
Scotland has, though, been a pioneer in bringing about reforms to make menstrual products available readily to all. For instance, in 2018, it became the first nation to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges, and universities.
According to a research by Plan International UK, one in 10 girls in the United Kingdom are not able to afford period products.
Isn’t this a wonderful move to tackle period poverty and break the stigma around menstruation? What do you think? Should other nations follow the footsteps of Scotland? Do let us know your views in the comments section below.