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MSPs to vote on providing free sanitary products to end period poverty

Written by on 23/11/2020

A historic vote could end period poverty in Scotland by giving everyone the right to free products including sanitary pads and tampons.

MSPs will vote on the Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, which would introduce a legal right of free access to period products at an estimated annual cost of £9.7m.

In 2018, Scotland gave students free access to period products.

Research suggests one in 10 girls across the UK has been unable to afford period products; and twice as many have used a less suitable product due to cost.

Campaigner Kerry Wright grew up in a disadvantaged family in Aberdeen, and said not having period products left her feeling so ashamed she missed school and fell behind.

“It was very shaming for me, and I felt guilty a lot of the time as well – this was something I was causing and I had to hide and keep to myself.”

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon has campaigned to get her private member’s bill to the brink of being turned into law.

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It would make Scotland the first country in the world to make period products available free to anyone who wants them.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Ms Lennon said: “We are in the final miles of a long journey and I am heartened by the support for the Period Products Bill.

“I am optimistic that we will complete that ground-breaking journey today.

“Scotland will not be the last country to make period poverty history – but it now has a chance to be the first.”

 Sky News

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