Scotland is the first country to guarantee access to free menstrual products

Edinburgh, UK: Scotland will on Monday become the first country in the world to ensure universal access to free menstrual hygiene products after landmark legislation was passed in 2020.

Boards and education providers will be legally obliged to make menstrual products available free of charge to anyone who needs them, the Scottish government said in a statement on Sunday.

“Providing access to free periodicals is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes financial barriers to accessing them,” said Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison.

“We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such a step,” she added.

The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously in favor of the Period Products Bill, which made free access to sanitary products in public buildings a legal right, in November 2020.

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The sanitary products were already free for pupils and students, but the bill imposed a legal obligation on ministers to ensure that everyone could have access to them.

Schools, colleges and universities must also make a range of period products available free of charge in their washrooms.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the decision.

“Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free menstrual products to everyone who needs them,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

“An important policy for women and girls.”


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