A 2019-study shows that an average woman spends about $13.25 on menstrual products per month. During her reproductive period, a woman will spend thousands of menstrual tampons and pads.
Therefore, lawmakers in Scotland passed a bill that makes their nation the world`s first country to allow universal and free access to menstrual products, including pads and tampons in public facilities. Women in Scotland will no longer have to pay for them.
The Scottish Parliament voted in favor of the Period Products (Scotland) Bill on Tuesday, months after the lawmakers had offered their support.
Monica Lennon, a Scottish Parliament member, said that Scotland will not be the last country to make tampons and pads free, but it has the opportunity to be the first one. The nation`s decision is a signal to the world that free and universal access to menstrual products can be accomplished. The legislation is an opportunity to obtain period dignity for all women who menstruate.
The financial memorandum considers that it could cost about $8.7 million per year by 2022, depending on the number of women who will use free menstrual products.
The law was praised by many women`s rights groups and politicians from different parties represented in the Scottish parliament.
According to the Guardian, the local authorities will have to make menstrual products free for women who need them. Moreover, public places, such as colleges, schools, and universities across Scotland will have to provide the products for free, too. According to the rules, education providers and local authorities will have to ensure that menstrual products are free of charge.
During a debate on the bill, Lennon said that as menstruation is normal, free access to menstrual tampons and pads should be, too. According to a 2017-study, one in ten women in the United Kingdom were unable to afford menstrual products. It also found that girls at the age of 14 to 21 were embarrassed by their periods and missed an entire day at school because of it.
A 2019-study carried out by OnePoll, shows that women spend about $6.360 on menstrual products during their reproductive lifetime. It also found that half of the women surveyed showed that they have experienced period poverty. 72% of them feel that the government should make free menstrual products for everybody.
This is often considered a woman`s issue, but it is not. It is a rights issue, an equality issue.