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MSP proposes end to 'period poverty'

15 August 2017

A draft proposal for legislation has been introduced at the Scottish Parliament by Monica Lennon MSP that aims to end 'period poverty' and provide free access to sanitary products.

There now follows a period of consultation when individuals and organisations are invited to respond to the proposal.

Outlining her case Ms Lennon points out that poverty in Scotland is a growing problem, increasing by two per cent overall last year, according to official Scottish Government statistics.

This means that after housing costs are taken into account, there are 1.05 million people in Scotland, including more than one in four children (260,000), living in poverty.

She says women and girls, at different times in their lives, may find it difficult to access or afford the sanitary products they need for a variety of reasons.

They may have no money or income of their own, while there are are reports that sanitary products are not always easy to obtain in educational premises. In some schools, pupils who need sanitary products must ask a staff member to provide them.

The principle underlying the proposed Member’s Bill is to ensure that everyone in Scotland who is menstruating should have the ability to access sanitary products for free.

To achieve this, the proposed Bill will create a universal right of access to free sanitary products for everyone in Scotland, in addition to specifically introducing a duty on schools, colleges and universities to provide these products in their toilets.

Anyone can respond to the consultation via this link:

All responses should be received no later than 8 December 2017. 

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