November 24, 2020 – Scotland Becomes First Country to Make Period Products Free for Women

Young Scot (the national youth information and citizenship charity for 11-26 year olds in Scotland) worked with the Scottish Government to survey young people about their views on accessing sanitary products.

The survey, completed in 2018, found that around a quarter of respondents in secondary school, college or university (26%) as well as those not in education (24%) said they had struggled to access sanitary products in the previous year. 61% of respondents not in education who reported struggling to access products said that this was because they couldn’t afford to buy sanitary products. (You can see the results of the survey here.)

On this day in history, November 24, 2020, the Scottish Parliament unanimously approved a bill making Scotland the first country to allow free access to period products. As a result of the legislation, menstrual products like tampons and pads would become be available to access free of charge in schools, universities, and other public buildings.

Activists rally outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in February in support of legislation for free period products.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The BBC reported that the bill was introduced by Labour MSP Monica Lennon. She had been campaigning to end period poverty since 2016. She said it was a “practical and progressive” piece of legislation made all the more vital because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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