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Scotland Is Set To Become World's First Country To Make Sanitary Products Free

Scotland Is Set To Become World's First Country To Make Sanitary Products Free

If the bill introduced becomes a law, it will make it a legal duty of the government to ensure that free period products are available to "anyone who needs them".

Source: Getty Images/Creative/ShotShare

A lot of menstruating women in the world don't have proper access to sanitary products.  A study revealed that 15% of girls in the UK have struggled to afford them and 19% have changed to a less suitable product due to the costs. Even in this day and age, there's a lot of stigmas that surround menstruation and a recent study found out that 74% of 14 to 21-year-old girls in the UK felt embarrassed buying period products. According to BBC, if the bill introduced by Labour MSP Monica Lennon becomes a law, it will make it a legal duty of the government to ensure that free period products are available to "anyone who needs them".



 

It will give "anyone who needs them" access to products "relatively easily" with "reasonable privacy." This bill will be a landmark event as it will finally make menstrual hygiene a basic human right. The Period Products Scotland Bill was proposed by Scottish lawmaker Monica Lennon. "These are not luxury items. They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products," Lennon said, adding that the bill was about "period dignity." Under the law, products will be made available for free at pharmacies, youth centres, and community centres.



 

This law might be monumental, but two years ago, Scotland became the first country to make sanitary products free in all schools, colleges, and universities. "We will continue our world-leading action promoting wider period dignity through a certification scheme to encourage organizations to provide free products," Aileen Campbell, Scotland's communities secretary, said. In the UK, sanitary hygiene products are still subjected to a 5% tax. Former prime minister David Cameron tried his best to eliminate the cost, but due to the European Union's rules, there wasn't much he could do. 



 

In the US especially, period poverty is a grave issue, though there isn't much that's being done to solve it. Research by The Always Confidence and Puberty Wave VI Survey found that "nearly one in five American girls have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products. The fact that there are people who aren't able to afford these products, and as a result, may miss school, may miss work, face certain stigma — I think it's a human rights issue that, especially in the United States of America, women should not have to be dealing with," said Congresswoman Grace Meng, D-New York.



 

Several countries around the world are fighting period poverty by making sanitary items tax-free. This includes a dozen states in the US and countries such as Columbia, Kenya, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, India, Uganda, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Nigeria, Lebanon, and Trinidad and Tobago. The cost of these don't really make it easy for everyone to afford them.  Sally Clarke shared:  This is great news, and I’d love to see the environmental aspect dealt with, namely the unnecessary amounts of bleach used in making these articles, which can lead to toxic shock. I personally love the luna silicon cup which is reusable. And this ^^ is still a big win for everyone.



 

Joellen McGee Davis added: Awesome!!! Sad to see that girls here in the USA are fighting just to get a pad/tampon dispensers put in their bathrooms and be given enough time between classes to change them!! Hooray for Scotland being so progressive!!!!! Keryn Keene shared her own experience: A few cafes I went to while in Scotland, had a basket with sanitary items in it. These were free to take if you needed anything. I thought it was a wonderful idea. Jackie Keene Sniadecki added: And here in the US, women in prison are not even provided any sanitary products. Way to go, Scotland! I hope someday the rest of the world catches up.



 

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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