The Scottish Parliament unanimously approved the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill on Tuesday. Now, it will be the legal duty of the Scottish government to ensure period items like sanitary pads and tampons are freely available to anyone who needs them.
Monica Lennon, a Member of the Scottish Parliament, who has been campaigning to end period poverty since 2016, first introduced the bill on April 23, 2019, according to the media. According to Lennon, the Bill will tackle “period poverty”, which is when some people who need period products struggle to afford them. The Bill proposed different ways to make period products (like sanitary pads and tampons) available for free to people who need them. Lennon saw period products as a basic necessity and believes that providing access to them is important for people’s dignity.
After the passing of the Bill, Lannon said, “A proud day for Scotland and a signal to the world that free universal access to period products can be achieved…Periods products are essential, and now no-one in Scotland will have to go without them.” On average, a period lasting about five days can cost up to eight pounds (Rs 790.38) for tampons and pads in Scotland. At present, the Scottish Government provided 5.2 million pounds (Rs 51.36 crore) to provide free tampons, pads, and some reusable products in schools, colleges and universities. Another four million pounds (Rs 31.51 crore) was made available to councils so the roll-out could be expanded to other public places.