Scotland has become the first country in the world to protect women’s right to access free period products by law.
From today, local authorities and education providers will be legally required to make period products available for free to anyone who needs them.
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act cements the Scottish Government’s efforts to make sanitary products such as tampons and sanitary pads accessible in a range of public settings.
It builds on the Period Products in Schools (Scotland) Regulations from October 2020, which legally binds councils and schools to provide free products for pupils.
‘Ground-breaking’ action to end period poverty
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison 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 anyone to be in a position where they cannot access period products.
“We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action.
“I’m grateful to all the young women and girls who have been crucial in developing the best ways to access products to meet their needs.”
People can find their nearest collection point on the PickupMyPeriod mobile app, which was launched with government support by social enterprise Hey Girls earlier this year.
Celia Hodson, founder of Hey Girls, said: “The Period Product Act shows Scotland is leading the way in recognising that period products are not a luxury and should be freely available to all.
“Through our PickupMyPeriod app, we work to ensure no-one in Scotland is left without access to period products and are well on the way to achieving that with more than 1,000 locations highlighted to users.
“We hope the act will help those in need and that our app will be of support to many more as our network continues to grow.”