Scotland Creates History: First Country in The World Making Sanitary Products Free

The whole world is applauding Scotland for its recently passed provision of making it legally compulsory for the public organizations to provide sanitary products which includes both tampons and pads to all those in need.

Image Credits: Yanasha Itch, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

This decision has been unanimously passed by the members of the Scottish Parliament this Tuesday. The act is known as The Period Product Act. Monica Lennon, a Labor member, who is on the front-line of this campaign for the last four years and who also introduced the bill in the Scottish Parliament in 2019 said that their goal is to put an end to “period poverty”.

This historical decision made Scotland the very first country in the world to make menstrual products free and universal for all those who need them. According to the law, menstrual products will be made available in public spaces such as schools and colleges all across the country. It will be the responsibility of the local authorities and also of the educators to make sure the products are available free of cost. The bill’s following financial memo evaluates it can cost approximately £8.7 million for a year by 2022. It depends on how many women will make use of free sanitary products. The new law passed in the Scottish Parliament was applauded by many women’s rights organizations along with the politicians from the parties in Scotland.

While the whole world is praising Scotland for its remarkable decision even now there are thousands of girls in India who do not have access to sanitary products and suffer from poor menstrual hygiene. There are hundreds of places where periods are still taboo and menstrual hygiene is being neglected. In a vast country like India only about a few percentages of women have proper access to menstrual hygiene. This should not come as a shock because still this subject is avoided in education or discussion in this country. There are hardly any debates about menstrual health and how we should take measures to treat it.

Many non-profit organizations are working to provide sanitary pads to women at low cost but they are limited to only certain areas of the country. The taxes levied on the sanitary products are still high and many women’s rights groups are fighting for it. But it is the duty of the government of this country to focus their attention on this issue and try to follow Scotland’s decision of ensuring that every woman and girl of this country can have access to menstrual products for free. It is important to understand that having access to sanitary products is not a luxury, it is the need of every woman and girl.

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