Free access to tampons and pads is now a legal requirement in Scotland. A law went into effect today, obliging educational and municipal institutions to provide free period products to “anyone who needs them”. According to its own statements, Scotland is the first country in the world to have such a law.
Scottish Labor MP Monica Lennon, who sponsored the legislation passed in 2020, said the legislation was a “ray of hope” at a time when the cost of living was rising.
Sign Against “Term Poverty”
Since 2017, Scotland has invested around €32 million to provide access to pads and tampons in public places. Availability in schools has been mandatory for the past one year and is now being expanded. Scotland also wants to make a clear signal against so-called period poverty – the fact that women spend so much money on menstrual products that they have little money left over for other essential expenses such as food. or that they alternatively reach for articles of inappropriate duration.
This is a problem in many countries around the world. A 2017 survey by aid organization Plan International found that in the UK alone, 10% of girls and young women aged 14 to 21 were not able to afford menstrual products – another 15% faced financial difficulties .
Value Added Tax Reduction in Germany – Still Problems
The survey, which was also carried out in Germany, reveals a similar picture here: every second woman in Germany would be better off stocking up on tampons and pads when they are cheaper. Across all ages, almost one in four women in Germany face financial difficulties in stocking up on hygiene products during this period. 15% say they are delaying replacement of hygiene items due to lack of money.
Period poverty is a worldwide issue – an initiative in Lebanon is drawing attention to it
And that, although there is already a change in Germany: From January 1, 2020, a lower VAT rate of just 7 percent is charged for period products — compared to 19 percent before. According to the federal government’s plan at the time, the twelve percent difference should have benefited the buyers.
Bru/PG (dpa, AFP)
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