Words by Smiley Team
Scotland has made history as the first country in the world to offer free period products.
An estimated 20% of the Scottish population who menstruate live in relative poverty, explained Scottish Labour Lawmaker Monica Lennon in a document supporting the legislation she first introduced in April 2019. These statistics lead her to believe that up to 20% of Scotland’s menstruating population could make use of the free products.
"Proud of what we have achieved in Scotland," said a tweet by Lennon on Monday, when the legislation officially came to pass. "We are the first but won't be the last."
The change to Scottish legislation has been met with congratulations and elation from people from countries around the world, as well as calls for other governments to take similar action.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, showed his support for the legislation, and his hopes that other governments, like the UK, will adopt a similar practice.
"A monumental day for #PeriodDignity. Credit to the many campaigners, trade unionists and @MonicaLennon7 who made this a reality," read the tweet. "Now it's time for the UK Govt to follow suit and put an end to period poverty."
This is just one of the programmes Scotland has put into place in an attempt to abolish period poverty across the country. In 2018 an investment was made to allow free period products at schools, universities and colleges, shortly followed by a similar scheme being introduced in libraries and recreational centres in 2019.
With such a monumental win taking place in Scotland, it’s exciting to think that other countries might follow suit, ending period poverty once and for all.
GET INVOLVED: Help ActionAid to end period poverty across the globe.
SUPPORT: Donate or fundraise for Period Poverty UK to help provide period products for those who menstruate in the UK.