Scotland becomes the first nation to provide free pads and tampons
This can be a start to push back the pricing for period products such as “tampon taxes” that classify sanitary pads as luxury items.
The Scottish Parliament approved a plan Tuesday to make menstrual products available free in public spaces like community centers, pharmacies and youth clubs. This new plan will cost Edinburgh an estimated $31.2 million a year.
Since 2018, Scotland has provided free pads and tampons at schools and universities as a matter of national policy.
According to Reuters, the legislation passed an initial vote with 112 in favor, none against and one abstention. Entering to the second phase in which legislators can propose amendments.
“Milestone moment for normalising menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality,” the bill’s sponsor, Monica Lennon, said during a debate in Parliament.
Why free of charge matters? (source)
Lawmakers and activists worldwide have expressed anger at policies that force women to pay comparatively high taxes for necessities.
In Scotland, a study found that 1 in 4 women at schools and universities had trouble accessing menstrual products before they became free for students.
Back in 2016, UK pledged to remove the 5% "tampon tax", but was putted off due to uncertainty over Brexit and the impediment of European Union Tax regulations.
The E.U. has pledged to remove all sales tax requirements on period products beginning in 2022. Hopefully with Scotland, a country that is part of the United Kingdom, offering free sanitary products to women, it will raise greater awareness around the world.