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Scotland becomes first country to make period products free

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 25th November 2020
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Holyrood voted unanimously to approve Monica Lennon MSP's Bill, which will make period products free to anyone that needs them.

The new law will require local councils across Scotland to make free period products easily available. This will help reduce period poverty, with as many as a quarter of young people surveyed currently stating they have had difficulties affording period products.

The Scottish Government had previously voluntarily put measures in place so that free period products were available in educational settings – schools, colleges and universities. The law passed by the Scottish Parliament now makes this a formal requirement, as well as allowing that obligation to be extended to other public bodies.

It is hoped that this will also contribute to eliminating the stigma surrounding periods. Speaking about the increased public debate around menstruation, Monica Lennon said:

“There has been a massive change in the way that periods are discussed in public life. A few years ago there had never been an open discussion of menstruation in the Holyrood chamber and now it is mainstream. MSPs have enjoyed being a part of that, and it has encompassed the menopause, endometriosis, as well as the types of products we use and their sustainability.”

Once the bill receives royal assent and formally enters into law, the Scottish Government will have up to two years to implement its provisions. You can read more about the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill and its journey through parliament on the Scottish Parliament website. (this link will take you away from our website)

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