An MSP has proposed to the Scottish government that free sanitary products should be provided to women.
Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour’s inequality spokeswoman proposed an initiative in the Holyrood Parliament on International Women’s Day. Female sanitary products are highly taxed in Britain as the government does not consider them as essential for women; thus they have been branded to be a “luxury item.”
“It is an uncomfortable truth that not every woman and girl in Scotland can afford to buy essential feminine hygiene products when they need them,” Lennon told the chamber. She bases her words on the evidence provided from charities such as Barnardo’s Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid and The Trussell Trust.
Ewan Gurr, the Scotland development officer for the Trusell Trust said that MSPs should seriously consider this provision to provide free sanitary products to women on certain benefits. The trust’s research conducted last year showed alarming results of 1.2m people across the country unable to afford essential sanitary products, including tampons and towels.
This proposal is seen to be an adoption of similar strategies across the pond. New York has previously adopted a policy to provide more than 300,000 women with sanitary towels and tampons to tackle the “period poverty”.