Fairer Scotland

Why we are providing period products and removing the stigma

February 14, 2020 by No Comments | Category Equality, Sanitary Products

The Scottish Government has taken world-leading action to ensure that, for the first time, people have access to free sanitary products. It is our mission too to remove any stigma associated with periods, which are experienced by half of the population.

Our action is backed up with £15 million of investment and it has ensured that over half a million individuals in Scotland now have access to free period products.

Nobody should miss out on learning because they cannot afford period products so we are supporting 400,000 younger people who menstruate by ensuring they have access to products in every school, college and university across the country.

Targeted investment of £1 million through the charity FareShare is helping make sure products are freely available to support those on low incomes.

We are also working with councils to make sure products are freely available in a range of community settings across Scotland such as local libraries and town halls.

We have also launched a ground-breaking campaign, ‘Let’s Call Periods, Periods’, to challenge the stigma around periods and encourage more people to talk openly about them.

The work we are doing in Scotland is world-leading. The breadth and reach of what is happening here is not replicated anywhere else in the world and this Scottish Government is committed to further action. And as it has only been 18 months since we began our innovative work, we want to evaluate it fully to make sure it’s working and reaching those it should.

I applaud Monica Lennon for her work on the proposed Period Poverty Bill. I am proud of what we have achieved and I want that work to go further to ensure Scotland continues to set an example the world wants to follow.

That work includes addressing the concerns in the legislation proposed, such as what a universal scheme offering a variety of products would look like, what the impact of losing local flexibility would be, and what it would cost to the public purse.

In the coming year we will continue to improve current services and availability of period products, including introducing an app that will provide information on where free products can be accessed and support more employers who want to provide free products.

I am proud the Scottish government is at the forefront of this work but we cannot do this on our own which is why it has been fantastic to see the work of so many individuals and organisations who are talking about periods and removing the stigma and ensuring free products are available in their communities and in their work places.

Together we are changing minds, changing cultures and delivering fairness through collective action, ensuring cumulatively, we are making Scotland a global leader in providing free period products.



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