Scotland Proves It’s Better Than Us By Making Sanitary Items Free

They're the first country in the world to make the necessary shift.

tampon sanitary items scotland free

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

As anyone who’s ever gotten a period would know, it can be just as uncomfortable financially as it is physically.

Finally people are trying to do something about that, with Scotland becoming the first country in the world to make all sanitary items free.

MPs there have passed a bill to make products like tampons and pads free at designated public places like community centres, pharmacies and youth clubs. Meanwhile, less than two years ago Australia still taxed sanitary items as a “luxury item”, probably the most insulting way the government could tell women they don’t give a shit about them.

The Scottish MP who first proposed the bill, Monica Lennon, said it was about period dignity.

“These are not luxury items,” she said. “They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products. “We are changing the culture and it’s really exciting that other countries right around the world are watching very closely to see what we do.”

In 2018 Scotland was also the first country in the world to provide free sanitary items in schools, colleges and universities, in an attempt to tackle “period poverty”.

The cost of sanitary items is often a barrier to women who are facing financial hardship, with many missing school or work during their period because they can’t afford the expense of tampons or pads.

Scotland’s new bill was backed by all parties, however it is still has to go through a second stage where it’s expected to undergo amendments — with some concerned the bill’s current £24m annual cost (around $47.5 million) is too expensive.

Tell that to the women who spend thousands on sanitary items over the course of their lifetime.