London: In a praiseworthy development, Scotland is poised to become the first country to end ‘period poverty’ by providing free sanitary products to women. Plans to make sanitary pads and tampons free for all women were approved by the Scottish parliament on Tuesday and this makes it the first nation in the world do so. Also Read - From Sanitary Pads to Bras, Things That Chinese Locals Are Using As Masks To Avoid Coronavirus
As per the move, now women in the country will be able to pick tampons and sanitary pads from pharmacies and community centres. Designated public places like community centres, youth clubs and pharmacies will provide free tampons and sanitary products.
All the credit for this goes to Monica Lennon, a Scottish Parliament member who has led a years-long campaign to build support for the measure.
“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,” Lennon told the Daily Record after the vote.
The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill passed through the first stage with 112 votes in favour and one abstention and will now move to the second stage, where members of the Scottish parliament can propose amendments before it is given final consideration in stage three.
During the debate, Lennon said, “Women and girls are too often left behind in the political process, this is a chance to put them first and do something that is truly groundbreaking on gender equality.Menstruation is normal and free universal access to tampons, pads and reusable options should be normal too.”
According to research by a girls rights charity, Plan International UK, Nearly 10 per cent of girls in Britain have been unable to afford period products, and 19 per cent have resorted to using substitutes like rags, newspapers and toilet paper because of the high cost. Currently, sanitary products in the UK are taxed at 5%.
We hope other countries follow suit!