In attempt to combat what has been called “period poverty,” Scotland has become the first country in the world to provide free feminine care products to low-income women and girls.
“It is unacceptable that any woman or girl in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary products,” said Equalities Secretary Angela Constance, according to BBC. “That is why, as part of our wider aims to eradicate poverty from our country, we are exploring how to make products freely available to low-income groups.”
Access to feminine hygiene products is a huge problem globally, with girls missing school and resorting to unsanitary practices during menstruation. This pilot program in Scotland, initially launching in seven areas of Aberdeen, will reportedly help 1,000 low-income women and girls. The hope is to see how the program goes, then extend it to more neighborhoods throughout the country.
Period stigma is a huge problem worldwide, especially for women who can’t afford proper feminine care items. Access to the products and education provides women even more of an opportunity to excel educationally and in their careers.
“We need to end period poverty and improve access to sanitary products right across Scotland and that’s why I will soon be launching a consultation on a Member’s Bill proposal which will give all women in Scotland the right to access these products for free, regardless of their income,” said Labor MSP Monica Lennon.