Period Poverty in Scotland: The New Bill

Scotland has introduced a bill which provides free period products to anyone who needs them. But what actually is the bill?

Who is leading the fight?

Monica Lennon MSP led the introduction of this bill and it passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament. However, hundreds of activists, groups, and individuals have been pushing for this bill for years. 

When was the bill introduced?

The bill itself was introduced on April 23, 2019 and was passed on November, 24th, 2020. The timing is really important because periods don’t stop for pandemics. By introducing the bill during the pandemic light was shone on the extra challenges caused by lockdown.

So what is the bill?

This bill explains that period products will be free for those who need them. 

The specifics of the bill…

  • Local authorities will provide period products for free.
  • Secondly, education providers will provide period products for free. 
  • Thirdly, public service bodies must ensure that period products are obtainable free of charge for persons on their premises

So why was it introduced?

Monica Lennon along with period poverty activists have been pushing for the government to recognise the impact of period poverty. 1 in 10 women in the UK will experience period poverty at some point in their lives. By passing this bill the Scottish Government highlights it is dedicated to ending period poverty in Scotland.  And by ensuring everyone has period products, they can ensure they are provided with dignity and security.  

Where?

Scotland is the first country in the world to pass a bill like this. This shows that tackling period poverty in Scotland is a priority. Hopefully, many more will now follow.

Do you need period products?

If you are struggling to get access to period products here is what you can do:

  • Check in with your local authorities to ask about free products. Ask where they are located and if the location is difficult to access suggest it is changed.
  • If you go to school or university in Scotland, there should be period products in every bathroom and stocked at a central location like the student union. Check on their website or reach out if you don’t see any.
  • Ask your employer if they will provide period products in workplace bathrooms,
  • Do you need to have them delivered? Check with your local authority on specifics.

Learn more about Lilypads fight against period inequality.

Read more about this Bill or watch the debate videos on the Scotgov website.Read the Bill as passed in full here.  

 

Written by:  Morgan Ludington. January 21, 2021

 

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