Scotland has unanimously passed the Period Products (Free Provision) Bill, which requires local authorities to ensure that period products —including tampons and pads— are available free of charge. Schools and colleges must make sure period products are freely available to students. Designated public places must also make the products available. The Scottish government has estimated the measure will cost 24 million pounds a year (about 26.5 million euros).
Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them. An important policy for women and girlsNicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister
According to NPR, the debate over the bill opened a discussion rarely seen in government chambers. Members of the Scottish Parliament discussed endometriosis and heavy bleeding, also why toilet paper and bins for menstrual products are required in restrooms yet not menstrual products themselves. The legislation had drawn wide base of support from men as well as women.
The initiative is not completely new. Two years ago, Scotland ran a trial offering free period products in schools, colleges and universities. NPR reported that a program followed a survey of 2,000 students and found that 1 in 4 respondents struggled to have access to sanitary products.
A proud day for Scotland and a signal to the world that free universal access to period products can be achievedMonica Lennon, Labour Minister of the Scottish Parliament