Scotland is giving low-income women free menstrual products because they’re awesome like that…
Mostly though, it seems that Scotland understands that menstrual products are not a luxury and in most cases could actually set low-income women back, month to month.
“A pilot scheme is a welcome step in the right direction, but we must go much further to help women and girls across the country who are facing a monthly struggle to access the products they need,” explains Monica Lennon, a member of Scottish Parliament, according to The Scotsman.
Lennon’s statement reflects on the 6-month trial that Scotland is dipping its toes in the water with. The pilot program aims to provide menstrual products to low income women in schools, women’s and homeless shelters.
Lennon has loftier goals. She’s proposed a blanket bill that would make menstrual products free for all women.
In the United States, a menstruating person is expected to spend about $2,500 in their lifetime on menstrual products. Currently only some cities, New York City being one of them, offers menstrual products for free in shelters and in schools.
Representatives, including Representative Grace Meng of New York, are fighting to create more awareness to how much financial distress purchasing these items could be for some people and has proposed legislation that would help counter the financial burden.
“Menstrual hygiene products are not ubiquitous and cheap, despite what popular culture would have us believe,” states Rep. Meng. “Although most women use these products, many struggle to afford or access these essential items. This is unacceptable.”
Scotland’s trial program may be the first step towards countries as a whole acknowledging how important offering free to low-cost solutions on menstrual products — and other health issues — may be.