On Nov. 24, 2020, Scotland's Parliament unanimously approved (121-0) a bill that would make access to women's menstruation products, such as tampons and sanitary pads, available at no cost. Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tweeted, "Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them -- an important policy for women and girls." Despite initial opposition, the "debate over the bill spurred what was at times a remarkable public discussion of issues rarely spoken about in government chambers," NPR reported, describing how topics like endometriosis and heavy bleeding were openly surfaced." A 2018 survey of 2,000 students in Scotland found that 1 in 4 respondents struggled to access sanitary products. The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill now requires local authorities, schools, and public places to ensure that feminine hygiene products are obtainable free of charge. According to The Scotsman, Labor Health spokeswoman Monica Lennon, who introduced and championed the legislation, said that while the legislation was "world-leading" and "ground-breaking," schools need to also offer menstrual education to end the "stigma of periods." She plans to work with trade unions to "improve period dignity in all places."

Read Full Story