UK: Tampons and pads now free in Scotland


As of this week, free menstrual products are legally available to women and girls in Scotland. How regulation came about and why it was revolutionary.

“There’s a very simple way to describe period poverty,” says Hey Girls campaigner Georgie Nicholson: “You go to the supermarket and decide whether you want to buy pasta or a bag. She describes Scotland making sanitary products available for free to women as a historic step.” He makes a huge difference in the well-being of many people.”

Scotland, in the north of England, offers menstrual products such as tampons and pads free and open to the public for those who need them. Municipal facilities, schools and universities must provide sanitary products for women — that’s what a new law that took effect this week regulates. Shona Robison, Scotland’s Secretary of State for Social Justice, said: “We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take this step.

Tampons and pads are available in public offices

How this is implemented can be seen in public offices in Edinburgh, Scotland’s second largest city. Here tampons and sanitary napkins are displayed in dedicated mini-cabinets for easy access by anyone. The PickupMyPeriod app, available from January this year, provides additional support. Based on the user’s current location, it will find the nearest location where sanitary supplies are available for free.

In fact, most people in the UK cannot afford pads and tampons. All told, it costs a woman eight pounds a month, about 9.50 euros. A survey by ActionAid UK found that 12% of British women currently have problems buying menstrual products. As a result, more than a quarter of young women and girls stayed away from school or university. According to data from aid agencies, demand for sanitary items at the country’s food banks rose by 150 percent between May and June this year.

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Labor MP Monica Lennon tabled the bill

The revolutionary bill was introduced by Scottish Labor MP Monica Lennon, who has been campaigning to end poverty since 2016. “It shows what politicians can achieve when they come together for the common good,” he said this week. The law offers hope, especially given the current cost-of-living crisis. In educational institutions in Scotland, the availability of feminine hygiene products has been mandatory for the past year.

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A ‘tampon tax’ on menstrual products such as pads was scrapped in the UK earlier this year, with pads and tampons no longer available for free beyond Scotland. This was made possible by the country’s exit from the European Union. Because the minimum tax rate on sanitary products is five percent. However, recycled items such as period pants are still subject to VAT as they are classified as clothing.

Tampons and pads will soon be provided free of charge in secondary schools in Dusseldorf. The city council’s school committee made the decision Tuesday. The city will raise the money for this.

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