Scotland passes landmark bill aimed at ending period poverty

It is unbelievable that in the third decade of the 21st century, people have to miss out on education because they can’t afford tampons or sanitary towels during their period.

In a 2018 survey, a quarter of respondents said they had struggled to access period products.

Yesterday, Scotland became the first country in the world to pass a law putting an obligation on local authorities to provide period products free of charge to anyone who needs them.

From the BBC:

The scheme will need to be operational within two years of the legislation becoming law.

The bill says ministers can in the future place a duty on other “specified public service bodies” to provide free period products.

It also enshrines in law the free provision of period products in schools, colleges and universities.

The Bill was introduced by Labour MSP Monica Lennon who has been campaigning for this since her election in 2016. The SNP Government equivocated for a while before finally agreeing to support the measure in February this year. Liberal Democrat MSPs have supported the Bill all the way through.

It’s a really proud moment for Scotland. It’s good to see that the Parliament can still pass the sort of groundbreaking legislation that it did in its first few years before the SNP were in Government.

Let’s hope that we see these measures in other parts of the UK. Nobody should have to miss school because they can’t afford to buy period products.

Monica Lennon has been brilliantly persistent on this and she deserves the congratulations she has received from across the political spectrum.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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