Menstruation is normal, yet it’s still an awkward topic for many people. Whispered conversations about something as normal as periods makes it difficult to conduct a public examination of how well society is meeting the needs of those who menstruate. In Scotland, this is changing, and thanks to political and grassroots campaigning, periods are becoming a hot topic in the Scottish Parliament and in the media too.
Scotland is on track to become the first country in the world to provide women with universal access to free tampons and sanitary towels. Member of the Scottish parliament, Labour’s Monica Lennon, launched a consultation on a members’ bill on Monday which if successful, will introduce a system of universal free access to sanitary products in the nation. It would see schools, colleges and universities provide free sanitary items in their toilets.
At least 1,000 people are set to benefit over the course of a 6-month initiative in the city of Aberdeen. The announcement comes just months after news broke that girls in the UK are missing school because they are unable to afford the products they need to manage their periods. It was revealed that in addition to the financial burden, girls face widespread stigma and shame associated with menstruation, leaving them unable to talk about this major part of their lives.
Ms. Lennon, Scottish Labour’s equalities spokesperson, said ahead of the launch: “Scotland has the opportunity to be a world leader in ending period poverty.
This is amazing. Scotland has taken a major step towards providing low-income women & girls w/ free tampons & pads to tackles “period poverty.”