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All women in Scotland will soon receive sanitary products in a bid to end “period poverty”. Scotland becomes the first country in the world to take that step. 

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act was passed unanimously through its final stage on Tuesday evening, November 24. It now places a legal duty on local authorities to make period products available for all those who need them.

The new law will make it compulsory for local authorities to provide tampons and sanitary pads at various public places such as community centers, pharmacies and youth clubs. 

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, called it “an important policy for women and girls”.

“Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them,” Sturgeon wrote on Twitter.

Monica Lennon was the proposer of the bill. During debate she said:  “No one should have to worry about where their next tampon, pad or reusable is coming from.

“Scotland will not be the last country to consign period poverty to history, but we have the chance to be the first.”

Lennon said: “This will make a massive difference to the lives of women and girls and everyone who menstruates. There has already been great progress at a community level and through local authorities in giving everyone the chance of period dignity.

“There has been a massive change in the way that periods are discussed in public life. A few years ago there had never been an open discussion of menstruation in the Holyrood chamber and now it is mainstream. MSPs have enjoyed being a part of that, and it has encompassed the menopause, endometriosis, as well as the types of products we use and their sustainability.”

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