Scotland becomes first country to make sanitary period products free


Scotland has voted to make period products available to all free of charge, the first country in the world to do so.


The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously in Scottish Parliament yesterday.


The bill was put forward by Scottish Labour Party MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament) Monica Lennon.


Under the new legislation, the Scottish government is mandated to set up a country-wide scheme to allow anyone who needs period products, such as tampons and pads, to get them free of charge.


Schools, colleges and universities will be required to make a range of period products available for free in their toilets. The Scottish government will also have the power to make other public bodies provide period products for free.


In a speech given in Parliament while the Bill was being discussed, Lennon gave credit to amazing grass-roots activism for making free access to period products a mainstream campaign.


Lennon said: We all agree that no-one should have to worry about where their next tampon, pad or reusable is coming from.


Scotland wont be the last country to consign period poverty to history, but we are the first.


Nicola Sturgeon, Scotlands First Minister, took to social media to say she was proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation and praising both Lennon and MSP Aideen Campbell for making this happen.






Previously, Scotland passed legislation compelling all universities to offer free tampons to students in 2018.


Period poverty is defined as lack of access to period sanitary products, often as a result of financial pressures.


In 2019, a Period Poverty motion put forward by Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin garnered massive support in the Dil, but as of yet no legislation has been put forward similar to Scotlands.


Research by Plan International Ireland has found that as many as 50% of girls aged 12-19 in Ireland find it difficult to afford sanitary products. Martin, speaking to the Dil, said that it is estimated that women spend more than 8,000 on sanitary products in their lifetime.