Labour MSP Monica Lennon calls for free sanitary products to end period poverty
Monica Lennon - Image credit: Kate Shannon/Holyrood
Scotland could become the first country in the world to provide women with universal free access to sanitary products if a new law proposed by a Labour MSP gets the go-ahead.
Scottish Labour inequalities spokesperson Monica Lennon is launching a consultation today on a member’s bill that, if passed by MSPs, would mean the Scottish Government had to introduce a system of free sanitary supplies for women in Scotland.
It would also require all schools, colleges and universities to provide free sanitary products in toilets and allow Scottish ministers to extend these duties to other bodies in future if necessary.
Lennon has been campaigning on the issue of period poverty since shortly after she was elected to the Scottish Parliament last year.
She said: “Scotland has the opportunity to be a world leader in ending period poverty.
“Access to sanitary products should be a basic right but sadly in Scotland we know not everyone can afford or obtain what they need.
“That’s why I intend to introduce a legal duty on the Scottish Government to develop a universal system in Scotland which will provide free sanitary products for anyone who needs them.
“My proposal also includes a statutory duty on schools, colleges and universities to provide free sanitary products in their toilets. Having your period shouldn’t result in anyone missing class.
“This is a big step towards creating a fairer and more equal society and I hope to hear from people right across Scotland during the consultation.”
The Scottish Government recently launched a pilot scheme in Aberdeen, backed by £42,500 funding, where women and girls on a low income will be offered free sanitary products.