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Scotland has officially become the first country in the world to make sanitary products, including pads and tampons, free for all women and girls.
The landmark legislation - which introduces a legal right of free access to period products - was passed in parliament on Tuesday.
The Scottish government estimates it will cost around AUD$43 million to implement.
Because periods don't stop in a pandemic, we didn't give up. The final vote on the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill is on Tuesday. :muscle:#freeperiodproducts
Thank you to every single person who has made this possible. :heart:
Latest news :point_right:https://t.co/jEmCiyjLe1 pic.twitter.com/fe5TFYrsOP
- Monica Lennon (@MonicaLennon7) November 22, 2020
The campaign to provide free sanitary products to women was spearheaded by Scottish Labour's health spokeswoman, Monica Lennon, who told the Guardian it was 'a proud day for Scotland'.
"This will make a massive difference to the lives of women and girls and everyone who menstruates," Lennon said.
"There has already been great progress at a community level and through local authorities in giving everyone the chance of period dignity.
"There has been a massive change in the way that periods are discussed in public life. A few years ago there had never been an open discussion of menstruation in the Holyrood chamber and now it is mainstream.
"MSPs have enjoyed being a part of that, and it has encompassed the menopause, endometriosis, as well as the types of products we use and their sustainability."
We won! :muscle::tada:#greens #auspol #tampontax @sharingdignity pic.twitter.com/InB3KylxI7
- Janet Rice (@janet_rice) October 3, 2018
In Australia, the government faced major backlash over the 'tampon tax', which was a a 10 per cent goods and services tax (GST) as the products categorised as non-essential items - despite items such as condoms and sunscreen being exempt.
After 18 years of protests, the Australian government finally abolished the tampon tax in 2018.
Victoria became the first territory in Australia to provide free pads and tampons to public school girls in the initiative announced last year.
The state government has committed $20.7 million over the next four years to ensure girls aren't being left without access to necessary sanitary products.
The program will boost inclusivity and minimise the 'discomfort and embarrassment around periods for girls' at school. It was first proposed by the Andrews government ahead of the state election in 2018 and now it's been made a reality.
The sanitary products will be rolled out across the state's 1,500 public schools and will deliver 27 million pads and tampons every year (which is based on the calculation that 95 percent of female students will use the products).
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