“Access to menstrual products is a right. Period.”
Parliament approves free sanitary products for all women
Feb 25, 2020
LONDON (Reuters) – The Scottish parliament approved plans on Tuesday to make sanitary products freely available to all women, the first nation in the world to do so.
The legislation would make tampons and sanitary pads available at designated public places such as community centres, youth clubs and pharmacies, at an estimated annual cost of 24.1 million pounds ($31.2 million).
The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill passed through its first stage with 112 votes in favour, none against and one abstention.
It now moves to the second stage, where members of the devolved Scottish parliament can propose amendments.
During the debate, the bill’s proposer Monica Lennon said passing it would be a “milestone moment for normalising menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Lennon joined a rally gathered outside the Scottish parliament, and held a sign which said “Access to menstrual products is a right. Period.”
U.S. Congresswoman Introduces ‘Menstrual Equity for All Act’
Feb 26, 2020
CBS News – Scottish Parliament has approved stage one of a plan to make all period products free in Scotland. On Tuesday, all parties backed the Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill, which was introduced by representative Monica Lennon.
Period products are funded in schools, colleges, and universities in Scotland, but the bill would further fight what is known as “period poverty,” by making all period products completely free “for anyone who needs them,” BBC News reports.
While stage one of the bill passed, some Members of Scottish Parliament felt there was still a “huge amount of work to do” and the government is expected to make amendments addressing their “significant” concerns, according to BBC. One concern is that it would cost about £24 million, or more than $31 million annually …
In the U.S., nearly one in five American girls have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products, according to The Always Confidence and Puberty Wave VI Survey (conducted by the company that makes Always feminine hygiene products).
In March 2019, Congresswoman Grace Meng, a Democrat from New York, announced the Menstrual Equity for All Act, the first comprehensive bill to address the challenges that women and girls face in obtaining feminine hygiene products in America.
“The fact that there are people who aren’t able to afford these products, and as a result, may miss school, may miss work, face certain stigma — I think it’s a human rights issue that, especially in the United States of America, women should not have to be dealing with,” Meng said.
Meng’s bill would make menstrual hygiene products free for women in prison.
It would allow states to use federal funds to supply pads to girls in school.
And it would require that these products be covered by Medicaid. Read more.