In a world first, Scotland affords tampons and pads at no cost


Scotland is providing tampons and different interval merchandise free to anybody who wants them — the primary nation on the planet to take action — as a part of a push to finish “period poverty.”

From this week, menstrual merchandise will likely be obtainable free in public areas akin to neighborhood facilities, pharmacies and youth golf equipment, in step with laws initially permitted by lawmakers in 2020.

The Scottish initiative comes amid a broader international motion to fight interval poverty, through which individuals are unable to entry female hygiene merchandise due to their excessive prices.

“Proud of what we have achieved in Scotland,” Monica Lennon, the member of parliament who kick-started the Scottish laws, tweeted Monday. “We are the first but won’t be the last.”

New Zealand to supply free interval merchandise in faculties nationwide

New Zealand introduced final yr that it will supply free interval merchandise in faculties, addressing issues {that a} lack of entry was one of many causes younger folks have been skipping college. Officials within the South Korean capital, Seoul, started shelling out free menstrual merchandise in some public amenities in 2018 after a public outcry over reviews that women have been turning to do-it-yourself options akin to wrapping tissues round shoe insoles.

In the United States, Colorado this month ended state gross sales tax on female hygiene merchandise and diapers, following a number of different states which have lowered or eradicated taxes on menstrual merchandise. Britain abolished a “tampon tax” final yr, eradicating gross sales tax on sanitary merchandise.

A research printed final yr by George Mason University discovered that greater than 14 % of college women skilled interval poverty prior to now yr, and 10 % skilled interval poverty each month. Black and Latina girls reported the best ranges of interval poverty, in accordance with the research.

An article printed final month in the journal Lancet Planetary Health mentioned that local weather change might be exacerbating interval poverty in elements of Africa, the place rising temperatures, warmth waves and flash floods have led to crop failure, placing a considerable pressure on the funds of ladies within the area.

Health consultants say interval poverty can have far-reaching penalties. Some do-it-yourself alternate options, together with rags and tissues, may cause critical and even deadly well being hazards, the Lancet article mentioned. In some instances, younger women have traded intercourse for menstrual well being merchandise, rising their danger of contracting sexually transmitted infections.

5 issues behind the worldwide cost-of-living disaster

The coronavirus pandemic and rising cost-of-living pressures have compounded the issue of interval poverty in lots of locations.

“Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them,” Scottish Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said in an announcement. “This is more important than ever at a time when people are making difficult choices due to the cost of living crisis and we never want anyone to be in a position where they cannot access period products.”

Miriam Berger contributed to this report.


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