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.