Hygiene products for women: free pads and tampons in Scotland

Hygiene products for women: free pads and tampons in Scotland

Status: 08/15/2022 2:44 PM

What has been going on in schools from 2021 is now being expanded: in the future, term products should be available free of charge in Scottish educational institutions and municipal facilities.

In Scotland, educational institutions and municipalities will be required to provide free term products in the future. A related law against so-called term poverty – the “Term Product Act” – is effective today. Scotland is the first country in the world to make the provision of menstrual hygiene products a legal requirement.

Scottish Labor MP Monica Lennon, who sponsored the law passed back in 2020, said: “Especially now, with the cost of living rising, the law is a ray of hope, showing that when politicians come together and People act for what can be achieved for good.”

high cost of products

Since 2017, Scotland has invested around £27m ($35m) to make pads and tampons accessible in public places. Availability in schools is mandatory since last one year and now it is being expanded. “We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take this step,” said Social Affairs Minister Shona Robison.

Period poverty – the fact that girls and women cannot afford appropriate period products – is a problem in many countries around the world. A 2017 survey by aid organization Plan International found that 10% of girls and young women aged 14 to 21 in the UK cannot afford menstrual products. 15 per cent had financial difficulties in affording them. According to various calculations, the cost of menstrual products can be up to 20,000 euros over a lifetime.

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VAT reduction in Germany

Tampons and pads will no longer be taxed in the UK from 2021 onwards. VAT for products was completely abolished early last year. In EU countries, tampons and pads attract a VAT of at least five percent. In Germany, VAT on pads and tampons has been reduced from 19 to 7 percent in 2020.

There is also debate in Germany about the possible abolition of the tax on period products and the provision of tampons or pads in public facilities. More than 87,000 people have signed an online petition by the Social Period Association for free access to menstrual products in public facilities.

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