On Tuesday the 24th of November 2020 Scotland made sanitary products free to all women, this made Scotland the first nation in the world to take this kind of step against “period poverty”.
The measure has made tampons and sanitary pads available at certain public places such as community centres, youth clubs, and pharmacies.
This is at an estimated cost of 24 million pounds ($32 million) which will be paid by taxpayers.
The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill passed unanimously, and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon called it “an important policy for women and girls”.
Nicola Sturgeon posted on Twitter stating that she is proud to vote for the groundbreaking legislation which is making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products for those who need them.
During the debate, the bill’s proposer, Scottish Labour Member of Parliament Monica Lennon stated that nobody should have to worry about where they will get their next sanitary products and that Scotland would not be the last country to consign period poverty to history, but have the chance to be the first.
In 2018 Scotland was the first country to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities.
10 percent of girls in the UK have been unable to afford sanitary products, according to a survey by the children’s charity Plan International in 2017, with campaigners warning many students skip classes as a consequence.
Sanitary products in the United Kingdom are taxed at 5 percent, a levy that officials have blamed on European Union (EU) rules that set tax rates on certain products.
Now that the UK has left the EU, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that he would abolish the “tampon tax” in January 2021.