Scotland, on Monday (August 15), has become the first country in the world to ensure universal access to free menstruation products, following the passing of landmark legislation in 2020.
Now, the Councils and education providers will be legally required to make menses products available free of charge to everyone who needs them, the Scottish government said in a statement issued Sunday (August 14).
According to Mint, Shona Robison, the Social Justice Secretary, said, "It is fundamental to equality and dignity to provide free access to period products. It will also remove the financial barriers to accessing them. We are proud to be the world's first country to take such an action," quoted AFP.
Period Products Bill, 2020
The Scottish parliament voted unanimously in favour of the Period Products Bill, which made it a legal right to have free access to all sanitary products in public buildings in November 2020.
In the country, the period products were already free for pupils and students, but now the bill laid down a legal duty on ministers to ensure free access to anyone.
As per the bill, universities, colleges, and schools are required to make a range of sanitary products available free in their restrooms.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, welcomed the decision and wrote on Twitter, "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."
The Scottish parliament had in 2018 passed a bill that assures women menstruation products free of charge for all students. The law mandates that free tampons and sanitary pads be made available in all public spaces, such as community centres and drug stores.
After passing the bill for students, Lawmaker Monica Lennon, the bill's sponsor, hailed it a "milestone moment for normalizing menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality".
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