Scotland is said to become the first country to provide free sanitary products for women, thus ending ‘period poverty’ and ensuring ‘period dignity’.
- Period Poverty:
Period poverty refers to condition where certain circumstances make menstruation-a natural process, a ‘difficult experience’ for women. These include health conditions (like endometriosis), homelessness, coercive, controlling and violent relationships etc. Lack of access to sanitary products also contribute to such difficulties.
- Menstrual Hygiene:
Menstrual hygiene is a basic human right given that 800 million people menstruate every day. Lack of access to menstrual sanitary products not only hinders the individual from reaching full potential in their day to day life but also causes health risks like urinary tract and reproductive tract infections. This is an issue not only in developing countries (where it’s caused by taboo and unavailability) but also more developed countries (due to unaffordability).
- Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill:
The bill providing for free supply of menstrual sanitary products was passed by the Scottish Parliament. The country already introduced measures to make sanitary products freely available to students in all schools, colleges and universities in 2018. The bill is now to pass through a Parliamentary Committee and then receive approval from the Parliament. It will then require the Royal Assent of the Queen to become a law.