Period products are now free in Scotland

Scotland became the first country in the world to eliminate period poverty.

View of sanitary pads.

Scotland is the first country to give the period products totally free. / Photo: DepositPhotos - EdZbarzhyvetsky

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

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Leer en español: Los productos para la menstruación ahora son gratuitos en Escocia

In the last week of February, the Scottish parliament approved that all intimate hygiene health products for women were free, making the British country the first in the world to do so.

On 2017, as reported by BBC, a Scottish Parliament member Monica Lennon, proposed a bill to the house in 2017, urging them to provide free sanitary products to women of all ages in the count taking into account that the lack of access to sanitary products often leads women and girls to adopt an unhealthy lifestyle making them prone to several diseases.

This with an aim to normalize the stigma around menstruation, eradicate ‘period poverty’ and the impact that periods have on education.

Now, as read on Story Pick, the Scottish Parliament has moved ‘The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill’ to its second stage with 112 votes in favor, none against and one abstention.

As read on The New York Times, research by a girls rights charity, Plan International UK shows that nearly 10 percent of girls in Britain have been unable to afford period products, and 19 percent have resorted to using substitutes like rags, newspapers and toilet paper because of the high cost.

“Period poverty is an issue that affects women and girls across the U.K., with more than a quarter having missed work or school because they couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to menstrual products,” said Mandu Reid, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, to the newspaper.

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“A decade of austerity has pushed many women into a desperate financial situation and many have been forced to use makeshift items, shoplift or simply go without these basic necessities", she continued.

As read on Refinery 29, the bill will make pads and tampons free in public places like community centers, youth clubs, and pharmacies. According to The Guardian, in 2018 Scotland became the first country in the world to make sanitary products available free of cost to all of its pupils and students at schools, colleges and universities to help banish the scourge of period poverty.

According to Daily Record, Monica Lennon said regards the parliament's decision: “This is an amazing victory for everyone who has campaigned for free universal access to period products and who has convinced the Scottish Government to back this ground-breaking Bill. Scotland has already taken important steps towards improving access to period products and tackling stigma but legislation will guarantee rights, ensure that current initiatives continue in future on a universal basis, and will help us achieve period dignity for all."

Currently, medical devices in the United Kingdom are taxed with a 5 percent tax. The government of former Prime Minister David Cameron indicated his intention to put an end to that "tampon tax", but he said that his hands were tied by European Union rules that set tax rates for certain products.

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