Many people can relate to the struggle of trying to afford day-to-day goods while earning a minimum salary. It’s not easy. Fortunately, one European country is attempting to ease this situation, particularly for women. Scotland is in the process of passing a bill that, if passed, will make feminine hygiene products completely free.
One study carried out by Plan International UK shows that 15% of young girls in the UK are struggling to afford sanitary products. The study goes on to reveal that almost half of UK girls between the ages of 14-21 feel embarrassed by their periods. All of this research goes to show that not only do the stigmas surrounding women’s menstruation need to be tackled but that poverty likely plays a role in them as well.
That is why Scotland is trying to pass The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill, which would grant young women across the country free access to feminine hygiene products. Introduced by Scottish lawmaker Monica Lennon, the bill has currently passed its first vote. If the vote passes, Scotland would be setting a record as the first country to provide government-funded period products.
Generally, these products can cost up to $10 per month, which is a significant expense for those who are living on a very tight budget. As Lennon has said, “These are not luxury items. They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products,”
This isn’t the first time Scotland is ahead of the curve. Two years ago, they became the first country to make feminine hygiene products available (for free) in schools and college campuses. The Scottish government allocated a 5.2 million pound budget to fund this endeavor.
Following their lawmakers’ lead, local businesses have since joined the cause, with many pubs and restaurants now providing free period products to their female customers as well.