Scotland has just approved the first stage of the bill that would make period products completely free
The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill, which was introduced by Monica Lennon, has already passed its first vote. If the bill becomes law, the government will be responsible for ensuring that free period products are available to those in need. The groundbreaking bill is set to make Scotland the first country in the world to make menstrual hygiene products free.
On average, period products cost around £8 ($10) each month, making them unaffordable for those living on a very low income.
“These are not luxury items. They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products,” the Scottish lawmaker Monica Lennon said.
Two years ago, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products available for free in schools, colleges, and universities. The government provided £5.2 million in funding to support this.
Some local businesses have also joined the cause, with many pubs and restaurant owners providing sanitary products free of charge.
Several countries around the world are fighting period poverty by making sanitary items tax-free. This includes a dozen states in the US and countries such as Columbia, Kenya, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, India, Uganda, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Nigeria, Lebanon, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The UK has not been able to remove a 5% tax due to European Union rules. Nonetheless, the government has been donating the “tampon tax” to support women’s organizations and charities.
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It could also be argued that food, clothing, and housing are not luxury items and are, indeed, essential items that no one, not just some adult women should have to go without.