Bill Passes to End Period Poverty

A new law which makes period products free across Scotland can be replicated across the world, according to the Lanarkshire MSP who brought it to parliament.

Labour’s Monica Lennon said the success of her bill designed to tackle the effects of period poverty had attracted international interest.

Ms Lennon said campaigners and grass roots groups across Lanarkshire had inspired her during the long battle to bring the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill to Holyrood.

Following a Stage Three hearing on Tuesday, the Scottish Parliament approved the bill pending Royal Assent. It means access to free products for anyone who needs them becomes enshrined by law.

Lennon, a Blantyre resident who hopes to represent her home constituency Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse at the Holyrood election in May said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to thank everyone in Hamilton and Lanarkshire who got involved in the campaign.”

“Organisations like Lanarkshire Carers Centre, Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire College in East Kilbride gave us so much support and practical help.”

“There has been an explosion of interest across the world in this Bill. There is huge momentum now behind a move to introduce a similar law in Westminster which would apply to England.”

“There has also been interest from as near as Ireland and as far away as New Zealand. We can share everything we have locally to help the campaign across the globe.”

“I said all along that Scotland wouldn’t be the last country to make period poverty a thing of the past. I’m just delighted we have been the first.”

Tuesday’s vote happened after major research showed that a significant proportion of people who need period products had struggled to access them in the past.

The bill also tackled the impact on education with some girls forced to miss school because of the impact of their period.

Ms Lennon said that education around menstrual health would continue to be a priority. She said: “The success of the bill does not mean the end of the campaign. We are confident that something that started in Hamilton and other small Scottish communities can have a wider and longer lasting impact.”

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