New Laws Could Give Women and Girls in Scotland Free Access to Sanitary Products
April 24, 2019
A bill has been put forward at the Scottish parliament that would help ensure that women and girls across the country can access free sanitary products when they need them.
The idea behind what could soon become official legislation is to make Scotland a leading example when it comes to tackling the issue of ‘period poverty’.
Labour MSP Monica Lennon has put forward the bill, which would make it a legal requirement for schools, colleges and universities to make female sanitary products available free of charge.
The Scottish government has already pledged several million pounds to help cover the costs of making sanitary products available in public buildings.
Plans to make it a legal responsibility for educational institutions to make certain sanitary products available for free follows on from the success of similar pilot schemes initiated across Scotland last year.
Various other public buildings including train stations, shopping centres and football grounds are also beginning to make more sanitary products available for free on a routine basis.
Ms Lennon has called on her fellow MSPs to back the plan to make sanitary products much more widely available to women and girls free of charge, saying that we know “not everyone can afford to obtain what they need”.
“This law would be a step towards a fairer, more equitable society for us all to live in,” she said.
“Scotland has a chance to be a world leader by passing my member’s bill and creating a universal system of free access to period products.
“Across the UK, grass roots campaigners have already delivered significant change on period poverty. It’s now time for Scotland to put access on a legal footing, lead the rest of the UK and the world.”
A survey of 2,000 people carried out last year by an organisation called Young Scot established that roughly one in four girls or women in schools, colleges or universities in Scotland struggled to access or afford sanitary products when they needed them.
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