In a landmark decision, Scotland became the first country in the world to give free and universal access to period-related products. Issuing a statement, the Scottish government mentioned that the local authorities as well as educators, will now have a legal obligation to provide period products free of cost to anyone and everyone who needs them.
Like many other countries, Scotland too has been providing period products such as tampons and sanitary pads for school-going girls absolutely free. However, with the current unanimous ruling, this facility will not just be limited to them and will rather include females from all age groups.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said, “Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them.” She added, “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.”
“Proud to vote for this ground breaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them. An important policy for women and girls,” wrote Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on her Twitter handle.
For the ease of women, a mobile application by the name ‘PickupMyPeriod’ has also been instituted using which one can find their nearest collection point.
It is good to see that finally issues such as improved menstrual health resources are being given their due importance across the world. As for India until a couple of years ago the government used to impose a certain amount of tax on the sale of sanitary pads which was abolished after backlashes from various bodies. Still, a lady needs to spend around Rs. 300 on average every month to be able to access these products, an amount which can be very heavy on the pocket of an underprivileged household which is why close to 70 percent of women in the country can still not afford sanitary pads.