Here's why it's such an important step...
Scotland has become the first country to offer free sanitary products to women who cannot afford them, marking an important step forward.
Social enterprise, Community Food Initiatives North East, is running a six-month pilot project in Aberdeen, set to benefit at least 1,000 women and girls in what they are describing as ‘period poverty’.
‘It is unacceptable that any woman or girl in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary products,’ explained Equalities Secretary, Angela Constance. ‘That is why, as part of our wider aims to eradicate poverty from our country, we are exploring how to make products freely available to low-income groups.’
She continued: ‘The pilot in Aberdeen is a first step to help us understand the barriers women and girls face – and to help us develop a sensitive and dignified solution to making these products easily available to them.’
This was a thought echoed by chief executive of the Community Food Initiatives North East, Dave simmers. ‘CFINE and our 60 partner organisations engaged in Food Poverty Action Aberdeen are very aware of the cost and challenges of accessing sanitary products for many girls and women from low-income households,’ he explained. ‘Over a woman’s lifetime, sanitary products cost on average more than £5,000, a significant sum for those on low-income. Many cannot afford them and may use inappropriate methods or miss school.’
And it looks like it’s only going to get better, with Labour MSP Monica Lennon and a key figure fighting ‘period poverty’ promising further change.
‘We need to end period poverty and improve access to sanitary products right across Scotland,’ she explained. ‘That’s why I will soon be launching a consultation on a member’s bill proposal which will give all women in Scotland the right to access these products for free, regardless of their income.’
We can’t wait to see how far this goes.