Scotland becomes “pioneer in tackling period poverty” with world-first law
The Scottish government today passed the Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act, which will make period products freely available in public buildings in Scotland.
Responding, Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK, said: “In making this world-first commitment, the Scottish government has shown itself to be a pioneer in tackling period poverty, and we hope that nations around the world will follow its lead. Through this landmark legislation, Scotland could soon become the first country in the world to eliminate period poverty once and for all, and with household finances under strain from the coronavirus restrictions, the need has never been greater.
“This new law will help to ensure that no girl or woman in Scotland struggles to afford period products. Yet the rollout will be critical. Period poverty is driven by a ‘toxic trio’ of issues, which on top of the cost of period products, includes a lack of education and the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation. We know, for example, that only a third (31%) of girls in Scotland feel comfortable asking teachers for period products in school. That’s why, alongside free products, we need education and training for girls, schools and parents to help tackle the stigma and embarrassment around periods as well as the cost."