Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Scotland becomes first country in the world to guarantee free period products for anyone who needs them

MSPs support bill to 'make period poverty history'.

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Scotland will become the first country in the world to ‘make period poverty history’ – after MSPs at Holyrood voted to put into legislation that anyone in Scotland can access free period products.

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill enshrines the right to access free period products for anyone who menstruates in Scotland.

This will be through a duty placed on local authorities and education providers to make period products obtainable for free to anyone who needs to use them.

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The Scottish Government became a world leader as the first country to provide free products for pupils and students in education, as well as to women on low-incomes across a range of community settings – investing over £21 million in the scheme.

Holyrood – Edinburgh. Photo credit: DSC_0696 via photopin (license)

SNP MSP Gillian Martin, who first took a motion on access to period products to SNP Conference in 2016, said: “We want everyone, regardless of their circumstances, to be able to access essential period products.

“The SNP in Government has already taken world-leading action to improve access to period products, including provision of free period products in schools, colleges and universities and to those on low-incomes.

“The Scottish Government and Monica Lennon have now worked hard together to ensure that this legislation can be supported across all parties, and that the progress made so far will now be guaranteed in law through access to free products.

“After Aberdeen was chosen as the city to pilot the scheme, I campaigned for it to be extended to the rest of Scotland and I am hugely proud of the work that this Government and the Parliament has done to address the provision of access to free period products and help us achieve period dignity for all in Scotland.”

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DWP faces judicial review after mentally ill man found ‘starved to death’

Errol Graham starved to death in June 2018 after the DWP stopped his benefits.