Women in countries all over the world understand the struggles of womanhood. Scotland is now trying to make a change to end period poverty. A bill that would make menstrual hygiene products free has passed through the first of three stages in the Scottish Parliament. If the bill passes as law, all feminine hygiene products such as sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups and period panties will be available for free nationwide. And if this happens, it will be the first country in the world to make period products free.
It’s not easy being a woman. Every month, a woman goes through a turbulent period of hormonal changes. There’s the PMS, mood swings, abdominal cramps and the sometimes agonizing menstrual period itself. Women have to deal with these physical and emotional symptoms on a monthly basis. To make it worse, they also need to worry about buying sanitary products, which only adds to all the burden. A study has revealed that 15% of girls in the UK have struggled to afford period products. Around £8 ($10) per month is spent on feminine hygiene products. So, those living on a very low income can’t possibly afford to buy these essentials.
Scottish lawmaker proposed the Period Products Bill
The Period Products (Free Provision) Bill was proposed by Monica Lennon, a lawmaker who has been promoting the campaign since 2017. If the bill passes as law, the Scottish government would ensure free period products to anyone who needs them. Lennon’s campaign saw some rays of light when the government funded £5.2 million to provide free period products in schools which started two years ago. Supporters of the bill consider this as the country’s first step to improve universal access to sanitary products.
“These are not luxury items. They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products,” Monica Lennon said.
So, the bill is now on the second stage where members of Parliament can propose amendments. The government estimates the cost for the implementation of the legislation at around £24 million ($31 million) annually. Although the country has partially implemented the initiative, legislation will guarantee rights to ensure that it will be implemented on a universal basis. Moreover, the country will make history as the first country to address and resolve period poverty.
Here’s what people have to say about the Period Products Bill