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Scotland has made history as the first country in the world to introduce free period products

Entertainment:

Scotland has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that protects the right to free menstrual care products.

Today (Monday 15 August), it’s officially come into force, meaning councils and education providers in Scotland must legally provide free period products to whoever needs them. 

Back in 2017, Labour MSP Monica Lennon proposed the Period Products Act, which the Scottish Parliament unanimously approved in 2020. 

Lennon described the legislation as “a big milestone for period dignity campaigners and grassroots movements which shows the difference that progressive and bold political choices can make,” adding that:

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“As the cost-of-living crisis takes hold, the Period Products Act is a beacon of hope which shows what can be achieved when politicians come together for the good of the people we serve.”

In a press release, Scotland’s Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison provided the following statement: 

“Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them. This is more important than ever at a time when people are making difficult choices due to the cost of living crisis and we never want anyone to be in a position where they cannot access period products.

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“Since 2018, we have delivered ground-breaking action by providing free period products for pupils and students in all our schools, colleges and universities. We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action.

“The work we are doing in Scotland continues to be world leading, going goes beyond provision of free products. We have also provided funding for an educational website for employers, run a successful anti-stigma campaign, and improved menstrual health resources available for schools.”

People in Scotland will be able to access free menstrual care items by finding their nearest collection point through the PickupMyPeriod mobile app, which was launched earlier this year by social enterprise Hey Girls – with support from the Scottish government. 

Celia Hodson, the founder of Hey Girls, said:

“The Period Product Act shows Scotland is leading the way in recognising that period products are not a luxury and should be freely available to all.

“Through our PickupMyPeriod app, we work to ensure no-one in Scotland is left without access to period products and are well on the way to achieving that with more than 1,000 locations highlighted to users.

“We hope the Act will help those in need and that our app will be of support to many more as our network continues to grow.”

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For more from Glamour UK’s Lucy Morgan, follow her on Instagram @lucyalexxandra.


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