The Scottish government is launching a scheme in Aberdeen today that’s going to trial their new initiative to provide free sanitary products to women and girls on lower incomes.
After hosting round table discussions with key campaigners and setting up a website to kickstart her campaign to tackle period poverty, Labour MSP Monica Lennon took a bill to Scottish Parliament today that makes it a legal duty for ministers to provide free sanitary products to women.
Reports have been emerging over the past few months of young girls skipping school on their period because they can’t afford to buy pads/tampons, and using socks and tissues instead – which obviously ain’t OK.
The bill is gonna be consulted this week, and if it passes, then schools, colleges, and universities will be obliged to provide free pads and tampons to women. Basically, it’s going to be come a basic human right. FINALLY.
Last week, Morrisons, Waitrose, and Tesco all announced that they would be paying the 5% tampon tax, so that their customers don’t have to.
Earlier this year, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon agreed with Lennon’s campaign.
“I agree with Monica Lennon. Any woman—and, I hope, a lot of men—would agree that sanitary products are not a luxury but a necessity. We should not have a situation in which women are forced into situations of indignity because they are on incomes that cannot support the purchase of the products.”
With any luck, this might inspire Theresa May to do the same thing in England, although I ain’t holding my breath. If she won’t give kids free school meals, I doubt she’ll give them tampons. But you never know…