Scotland Is About to Be the First Country in the World to End “Period Poverty”

Scotland End Period Poverty

Stock Photos from MasAnyanka/Shutterstock

Scotland is on the brink of making history by being the first country in the world to end “period poverty,” or the inability for people to obtain menstrual hygiene products due to financial hardship. On Tuesday, February 25, the Scottish Parliament approved legislation to make pads and tampons available without charge to anyone who needs them. These products would be stocked in public places and ready for pick-up at community centers, pharmacies, and youth clubs.

Called the Period Products (Free Provision), the bill passed through the first stage with 112 votes in favor, none against, and one abstention. It will now move to the second stage where legislators can propose amendments to it. The provision would cost an estimated $31.2 million annually.

In the United Kingdom, 10% of girls are unable to afford sanitary products. This is according to a study completed by Plan International, an independent development and humanitarian organization. Not having proper access to menstrual products each month can pose physical risks while being detrimental to everyday life. Physically, this includes susceptibility to urinary tract infections. From a social standpoint, it can keep people from leaving their homes and attending places as important as school.

Scotland has already made headway in ending period poverty. In 2018, they began offering free sanitary products to students at schools and colleges.

h/t: [Vox]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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