The first country to legalise free access to menstrual products like tampons and pads in public facilities was made by Scotland on Tuesday. Scottish parliament voted unanimously in favour of the “Period Products bill” on Tuesday, soon to be in action in few months after legislators lent their support to the cause. The menstrual products will be available for free of cost across public buildings in Scotland including schools and universities.
The law states urges the local authorities to ensure that the products are available free of cost. The campaign has received support from trade unions, women’s organisations, and even charities. The bill was introduced last year by Monica Lennon. "Scotland will not be the last country to make period poverty history”, Lennon had said before the vote. Lennon claimed the lawmakers vote in favour of her idea, signalled a new pattern in the world whereby universal access to menstrual products will be possible.
The financial memorandum attached to the bill said it could cost £8.7 million a year by 2022. But this cost is contingent on the number of women who choose to avail the free services. The move could help the 20% Scottish women in poverty. "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," Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted after the vote. A survey by the Plan International UK in 2017 says one in 10 girls in the UK have been unable to afford period products.