Instagram | @uniteunionscotland

Scotland Set To Make History As First Nation To Offer Free Period Products

Scotland is officially on track to becoming the first country in the world to make period products free for all women, Newsweek reported.

On February 25, all parties in the Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to approve the Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill,, which aims at making sanitary products free in order to tackle period poverty.

For those who may have never heard the term before, "period poverty" means being unable to access sanitary products due to financial constraints.

As CBS News reported, women in America are 38% more likely to live in poverty than men. And when they get their periods, those women may find themselves in the difficult position of deciding what to put their limited money towards: tampons or a more pressing matter, perhaps such as feeding their children.

What's more, period products are not available for purchase using public benefits, like food stamps, and they're not included in health spending account allowances. They're also not usually offered for free in public restrooms.

It can be pretty pricey to get your period every month, too, especially if you have to buy your own sanitary products.

Instagram | @tampax

On average, a woman menstruates for about five days every single month, which means she spends an average of 2,535 days menstruating in her lifetime.

When you factor in the price of a pack of tampons or pads (anywhere from $5-10 or more), those monthly periods really start to add up. And that's exactly the financial burden Scotland wants to relieve its menstruating residents of.

The Period Products Bill was introduced by Monica Lennon in 2019 and has now passed its first stage in Scottish Parliament.

"This is an amazing victory for everyone who has campaigned for free universal access to period products and who has convinced the Scottish Government to back this ground-breaking bill," Lennon told Newsweek.

"Scotland has already taken important steps towards improving access to period products and tackling stigma but legislation will guarantee rights, ensure that current initiatives continue in future on a universal basis, and will help us to achieve period dignity and equality for all."

However, before the bill makes it to the second stage of the process, some Members feel there is still some work that needs to be done first.

In particular, the cost. Originally, Lennon estimated the bill would cost around £9.7 million (about $12.5 million USD), but the government has since estimated the bill will more likely cost taxpayers around £24 million (about $31 million USD).

This isn't the first time Scotland has made headlines in regards to sanitary products.

As Newsweek reported, Scottish schools already offer free period products and have done so since 2018 when the government launched a £5.2 million ($6.7 million USD) effort to tackle period poverty among the nation's youth.

If Lennon's bill is passed, this type of program will become law throughout the country for all menstruating Scots.

"MSPs backing the principles of this pioneering legislation at the first stage is a huge step forward," Lennon said.

"It has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of women and girls in Scotland, so I hope that all parties will continue to listen to those who would benefit from the Bill as it continues to proceed through Parliament."

h/t: Newsweek, CBS News