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For most of us, access to sanitary pads during our time of the month is a no brainer.

Need it? Just shout across the office for someone who has an extra pad and they’ll gladly pass it to you.

But did you know that there are many girls all around the world who cannot afford sanitary products?

Period Poverty

For instance, in the Soloman Islands, 63% of women can’t afford sanitary pads. But the problem isn’t as far away as you think.

“Period poverty” or the inability to afford sanitary products is also present in Australia where girls in remote indigenous communities regularly miss school when they menstruate because they cannot get their hands on these products.

Thus, this piece of news is even bigger of a deal than you think:

Scotland is Going to Make Sanitary Pads Free for All Women

Scotland has become the first nation to make tampons and sanitary pads absolutely free.

The Scottish parliament advanced legislation will ensure free universal access to tampons, sanitary pads and other menstrual products in a massive step to battle period poverty.

The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill passed through the first stage with 112 votes in favour and one abstention. No one opposed the bill.

This would also include transgender and non-binary people. In other words, the bill was designed to be inclusive of everyone who menstruates.

Aims To Tackle Period Poverty & Stigma Around Menstruation

The bill’s main aim is to fight period poverty and stigma around menstruation.

“Menstruation is normal,” Lennon said. “Free universal access to tampons, pads and reusable options should be normal too.”

A 2017 survey from Plan Internation UK revealed that one in 10 girls in the United Kingdom cannot afford period products.

The survey also revealed that half of all girls aged 14 to 21 are embarrassed by their periods, while around half missed a whole day in school due to periods.

A member of parliament asked, “For some reason, period products are regarded by some as a luxury, a luxury for which women should be charged. Why is it in 2020 that toilet paper is seen as a necessity but period products aren’t?”

She raises a fair point and we hope that this will serve as a good example for other nations to follow in their footsteps.

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