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Scottish parliament approves free sanitary products for all women

ENGLAND – The Scottish parliament approved plans to make sanitary products freely available to all women, the first nation to do so.

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Taxing menstrual period products makes them less affordable and accessible, especially for low-income consumers.

As the Scottish parliament prepared to pass legislation to alleviate the plight of women, Greens MP Alison Johnstone asked the legislature: “Why is it in 2020 that toilet paper is seen as a necessity but period products aren’t? Being financially penalised for a natural bodily function is not equitable or just.”

During the debate MP Monica Lennon, the proposer of the Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill, said passing the bill would be a “milestone moment for normalising menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality”.

In 2018 Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities

And on Tuesday the Scottish parliament approved plans to make sanitary products freely available to all women, the first nation to do so.

The new law will make tampons and sanitary pads available at designated public places like community centres, youth clubs and pharmacies, at an estimated annual cost of $31,2 million (about R484 million.)

The bill passed through its first stage with 112 votes in favour, none against and one abstention.

It now moves to the second stage, where members of the devolved Scottish parliament can propose amendments.

In South Africa this past week a factory that manufactures sanitary pads was officially opened in Nelspruit. 

The project, which is aimed at providing free sanitary pads to school girls, is sponsored by Old Mutual Insure and Wildhearts Foundation Africa

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