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Scotland Set To Become First Country To Offer Free Sanitary Products To All Women

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Scotland Set To Become First Country To Offer Free Sanitary Products To All Women

Scotland is set to become the first country in the world to provide sanitary products to women of all ages for free.

The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill has been put forward by Scottish MP Monica Lennon and has already passed its first vote in the devolved parliament.

Ms Lennon submitted her first draft proposal in 2017 and says it's time to change society's attitudes around these products.

Scottish MP Monica Lennon. Credit: PA
Scottish MP Monica Lennon. Credit: PA
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Ms Lennon said: "These are not luxury items. They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products.

"We are changing the culture and it's really exciting that other countries right around the world are watching very closely to see what we do."

According to the ABC, the proposal is expected to cost £24.1 million annually (AUD$47.5 million).

These products are currently taxed at five percent and some women aren't able to afford them because of their high cost.

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A survey from Plan International found 12 percent of young women were substituting proper sanitary products with other things.

Scotland is a step closer to providing free sanitary products for all women. Credit: PA
Scotland is a step closer to providing free sanitary products for all women. Credit: PA

One in seven girls had to borrow a product from a friend because they couldn't afford it themselves. The survey also said one fifth of respondents had switched to a less suitable product because of cost.

Scotland was a leader in 2017 when it announced it would be giving sanitary products to all women schools, colleges and universities for free - and now the country is upping the ante.

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Questions are now being asked about how the system will be rolled out, with one proposal suggesting women could be given a special card that allows them to pick up what they need. It's modelled on a similar system that gives people free condoms.

In 2017, Scotland committed to providing free sanitary products for women in school, college or university. Credit: PA
In 2017, Scotland committed to providing free sanitary products for women in school, college or university. Credit: PA

Scotland's communities secretary Aileen Campbell said having the support of parties across the political spectrum is good, however there are some issues with getting the policy up and running.

She added that the bill has underestimated the overall cost of the proposal, adding it will take 'a whole lot of hard work and endeavour to make sure we can get something that is fit for purpose'.

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She said: "We will continue our world-leading action promoting wider period dignity through a certification scheme to encourage organisations to provide free products.

The bill will now face the committee stage, where it could be subject to amendments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, UK, Politics

Stewart Perrie
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