Feminine hygiene products are an essential product to those people who menstruate, yet they are not free. Quite the opposite – have you seen the prices attached to a box of tampons? However, on the 24th of November, the Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to approve a bill titled SP Bill 45A. This bit of legislation was to provide the public with free feminine hygiene products. That means that disposable products, like tampons and wipes, will be available to the public – at absolutely no cost.
This means that anyone who may need period products will be able to access them free of charge. It also means that educators will be able to make feminine hygiene products free to students. In addition, all public buildings will also provide the products for free. This is also a historic moment, as the vote made Scotland the first country in the world to pass such legislation. This is huge as it will hopefully motivate other countries to do the same.
The decision was certainly a big step in the right direction, as there are roughly 1.6 million people of menstruation age living in Scotland.
The bill’s sponsor, Monica Lennon, was very proud of Scotland and their historic decision. She tweeted:
Thank you to everyone who has campaigned for period dignity and to my MSP colleagues for backing the Bill tonight.
A proud day for Scotland and a signal to the world that free universal access to period products can be achieved. #freeperiodproducts 🏴 https://t.co/NC3e97jPuQ
— Monica Lennon (@MonicaLennon7) November 24, 2020
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also took to Twitter to share her pride of the moment. Sturgeon deemed it “an important policy” that was going to be revolutionary for those who might need it. She tweeted:
Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them. An important policy for women and girls. Well done to @MonicaLennon7 @ClydesdAileen and all who worked to make it happen https://t.co/4lckZ4ZYIY
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 24, 2020
As someone who this would directly affect were I to live in Scotland, I think it’s absolutely fantastic. We can only hope other countries will take note and do the same for their people who experience a monthly menstruation cycle.SKM: below-content placeholder