Scottish Parliament approves landmark bill to provide free period products

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The Scottish Parliament has approved a bill to make period products such as tampons and sanitary pads freely accessible, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, which passed unanimously, requires local authorities and education providers to ensure that period products are available free of charge.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Campaigners and activists rally outside the Scottish Parliament in support of the Scottish Governments Support For Period Products Bill on February 25, 2020 in Edinburgh,Scotland. MSPs are set to back plans to tackle period poverty by making sanitary products available to all free of charge,the legislation, put forward by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, is likely to be passed at its first vote in Holyrood later today. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The measure also designates specified public service bodies to ensure that free period products are available in specified public places.

The legislation aims to tackle period poverty by ensuring that all those who menstruate can have reasonably convenient access to period products, free of charge, as and when they are required.

It also establishes the right of everyone in Scotland who need period products to obtain them free of charge.

The proposal follows the decision of the Scottish government in May 2018 to extend a six-month pilot project in Aberdeen which had provided free sanitary products to low-income households, to the rest of Scotland.

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