Scotland has become the first country in the world to legally protect the right to access free period products, through the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act.
Councils and education providers will be legally required to make period products available, free of charge to anyone, who needs them.
The SNP Government is providing £3.4 million in 2022/23 for access to free period products for students. Since 2017, it has invested more than £27 million to fund access in a range of public settings and the new law will cement this progress.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them. This is more important than ever at a time when people are making difficult choices due to the cost of living crisis and we never want women and girls to be in a position where they cannot access period products.
“Since 2018, the SNP Government has delivered ground-breaking action by providing free period products for pupils and students in all our schools, colleges and universities.”
People can find their nearest collection point through the PickupMyPeriod mobile app which was launched earlier this year, created by social enterprise Hey Girls with SNP Government support.
The Act builds on the Period Products in Schools (Scotland) Regulations which came into force in October 2020, placing a duty on local authorities and grant-aided schools to provide free products for pupils.
Scotland’s approach to delivering period dignity has been commended globally, with countries including South Korea and New Zealand taking a similar approach to meet their own needs.