On Monday (15th August), Scotland will become the first country in the world to provide free period products to everyone who needs them.
When the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act comes into force on the 15th, councils and education providers will be legally required to make period products available free of charge to anyone who needs them.
Scotland already has legislation in place that requires period products to be made available for free in schools and universities, but the new act – proposed in 2017 and passed in 2020 – is a further step in eliminating period poverty for good.
Given that a recent report found that one in for young women struggling to afford period products, Scotland’s new legislation sets an important precedent for the rest of the UK to follow.
“Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them,” said Scotland’s Social Justice Secretary, Shona Robson.
“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.”
People in Scotland who need free period products can find out where to collect them from more than a thousand locations using the PickupMyPeriod mobile app, which has been created by the Hey Girls social enterprise.
The enterprise’s founder Celia Hodson said: “The Period Product Act shows Scotland is leading the way in recognising that period products are not a luxury and should be freely available to all.
“Through our PickupMyPeriod app, we work to ensure no-one in Scotland is left without access to period products and are well on the way to achieving that with more than 1,000 locations highlighted to users. We hope the Act will help those in need and that our app will be of support to many more as our network continues to grow.”
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