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Scottish Parliament says menstrual products are a right. Period.


28 February 2020 at 5:03 pm
Luke Michael
"Why is it in 2020 that toilet paper is seen as a necessity but period products aren't?" one MP asked.


Luke Michael | 28 February 2020 at 5:03 pm


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Scottish Parliament says menstrual products are a right. Period.
28 February 2020 at 5:03 pm

“Why is it in 2020 that toilet paper is seen as a necessity but period products aren’t?” one MP asked.

Scotland is set to become the first country to make tampons and pads free for all who need them.

A bill making period products free at designated public places such as community centres and pharmacies passed a first vote in Scottish Parliament 112-0, with one person abstaining.

The proposal has been driven by Scottish MP Monica Lennon, who has been a long-term advocate for eliminating “period poverty” in Scotland.

“Women and girls are too often left behind in the political process,” Lennon said during parliamentary debate.

“This is a chance to put them first and do something that is truly groundbreaking on gender equality.”

A recent poll revealed more than a quarter of women in England, Scotland and Wales have missed work or school because they could not afford menstrual products.

Tampons are taxed at 5 per cent in Britain, because they are considered “luxury” products. 

“For some reason, period products are regarded by some as a luxury, a luxury for which women should be charged,” MP Alison Johnstone said.

 “Why is it in 2020 that toilet paper is seen as a necessity but period products aren’t?”

The legislation now moves to the next stage, where Scottish MPs can propose amendments to the plan, which has an estimated cost of $47.5 million a year.

Scotland has already proven itself to be a world leader in eliminating period poverty, becoming the first country to provide free period products in schools, colleges and universities back in 2018.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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