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Scottish MPs to vote on ending period poverty

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

If MSPs vote in favour of the bill, Scotland will be the first country in the world to make sanitary products freely available.

Scotland made period products free for students two years ago, and it is now considering making them free for everyone.

MSPs will vote on the Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, which would introduce a legal right of free access to period products, including sanitary pads and tampons, at an estimated annual cost of £9.7m.

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon has campaigned for the legislation to introduce free universal access to sanitary products. Today’s vote is the final stage to get the bill approved and is expected to have cross-party support.

It would make Scotland the first country in the world to make period products available free to anyone who wants them.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Lennon said: “We are in the final miles of a long journey and I am heartened by the support for the Period Products Bill. I am optimistic that we will complete that ground-breaking journey today.

“Scotland will not be the last country to make period poverty history – but it now has a chance to be the first.”

‘Period poverty’ means being unable to access sanitary products and having a poor knowledge of menstruation often due to financial constraints.

In the UK, one in 10 girls can’t afford to buy menstrual products, while one in seven have struggled to afford them, according to a representative survey of 1,000 girls and young women aged 14 to 21 by Plan International UK.