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Scotland to be first country to provide free period products

Lucy Devine

Published 
| Last updated 

Scotland to be first country to provide free period products

Featured Image Credit: Islandstock / Daniela Stärk / Alamy

Scotland is set to become the first country to provide free period products.

From today (Monday 15 August), councils and education facilities must provide free period products to those who need them under the Period Products Act, which was approved back in 2020.

Scotland is set to become the first country to provide free period products. Credit: Shutterstock
Scotland is set to become the first country to provide free period products. Credit: Shutterstock

The new law was first proposed by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who has been campaigning to end period poverty for the last six years.

“I’m proud to have pioneered the Period Products Act which is already influencing positive change in Scotland and around the world,” she said.

“Local authorities and partner organisations have worked hard to make the legal right to access free period products a reality.

“I’m grateful to them and the thousands of people who have got involved across the country.

“This is another big milestone for period dignity campaigners and grassroots movements which shows the difference that progressive and bold political choices can make.

“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.”

The new law was first proposed by Labour MSP Monica Lennon. Credit: Colin Fisher/Alamy Stock Photo
The new law was first proposed by Labour MSP Monica Lennon. Credit: Colin Fisher/Alamy Stock Photo

Since 2017, £27m has been spent on providing access to period products in schools, colleges and universities across Scotland.

Now, individual councils will have a legal obligation to provide sanitary products to those won need them 'reasonably easily'.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them.

"This is more important than ever at a time when people are making difficult choices due to the cost of living crisis and we never want anyone to be in a position where they cannot access period products.

"Since 2018, we have delivered ground-breaking action by providing free period products for pupils and students in all our schools, colleges and universities.

"We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action."

Since 2017, £27m has been spent on providing access to period products in schools. Credit: Shutterstock
Since 2017, £27m has been spent on providing access to period products in schools. Credit: Shutterstock

She continued: “The work we are doing in Scotland continues to be world leading, going goes beyond provision of free products.

“We have also provided funding for an educational website for employers, run a successful anti-stigma campaign, and improved menstrual health resources available for schools.

“I’m grateful to all the young women and girls who have been crucial in developing the best ways to access products to meet their needs.”

Topics: News, Health

Lucy Devine
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