Tampons and pads will be free for all menstruating men in Scotland from Monday. Local governments and educational institutions are legally obligated to provide such products to combat menstrual poverty.
For example, a law voted by Scottish MPs in 2020 is being implemented globally for the first time.
Menstrual poverty, also known as ‘period poverty’ in English, is a phenomenon in which people are unable to purchase essential health care products due to lack of money. The Scottish Government is proud to be the first to introduce legislation to combat menstrual poverty. Meanwhile, the governments of New Zealand and South Korea have followed in the footsteps of the Scottish government, according to the press release. An app called PickMyPeriod has been launched to make it easier to find nearby delivery points. Celia Hodson, founder of Hey Girls, says that PickMyPeriod has been unleashed on the world, with more than a thousand spots already visible on the app.
“Providing free menstrual products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes financial barriers to accessing those products,” Scotland’s Justice Minister Scona Robison said in the statement. “This is especially important as people make difficult choices due to the cost of living crisis, and we don’t want anyone to be in a position where they cannot access menstrual products.”
Since 2018, the Scottish Government has been providing sanitary pads and tampons to schools, colleges and universities. Schoolgirls, united in name, were the first to speak out about menstrual poverty in Scotland Women’s business. The girls filled their school’s toilet dispensers with sanitary products before launching the campaign, speaking at several schools and holding a rally in front of the Scottish Parliament.
Belgium binds Brussels Fight Menstrual Poverty by collecting sanitary towels and providing them free of charge to menstruating women in difficult living conditions. In 2021, BruZelle collected 670,600 sanitary towels and distributed 33,530 cloth bags, each containing twenty sanitary towels and an information brochure. By 2022, the counter is already at 205,546 sanitary towels.
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