Aug 15, 2022 - World

Scotland becomes first country to provide free period products

period products
Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Scotland on Monday became the first country in the world to require that public facilities provide period products free of charge to anyone.

Why it matters: The law is meant to end period poverty, a phrase used to describe the struggle of low-income people to afford menstrual products like pads and tampons. The law became effective nearly two years after it first passed.

The big picture: It will now be the responsibility of local authorities and educators to ensure period products are free and available in public buildings, schools and universities, per CNN.

  • A 2018 survey by the nonprofit Young Scot found that one in four respondents attending school, college or university in Scotland had struggled to access period products.
  • The law builds on a 2018 initiative in Scotland to make such hygiene products free for students at schools and universities.
  • Since 2017, Scotland has spent roughly £27 million (roughly $32.6 million USD) to provide access to period products in public settings, the BBC reported.

What they're saying: "Proud of what we have achieved in Scotland. We are the first but won’t be the last," Monica Lennon, the Scottish Labour lawmaker who introduced the bill in 2019, tweeted Monday.

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