I have been campaigning to improve access to period products in Scotland since I was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016. A lot has changed in the last few years. Thanks to lots of grassroots and political campaigning, the long-standing stigma around menstruation in Scotland has been reducing. Talking about periods and their impact has become a more and more acceptable topic of conversation in Scottish public life.
Around half the population will experience periods at some point in life – but, even now, far too many people face struggles to access the basic products that they need. Menstruation affects people differently – but women, girls and trans people who experience periods all have a common need of access to period products.
For those who are struggling to make ends meet, are homeless or have certain health conditions, managing your period can be messy and difficult. That’s why I’ve been using my voice to raise the injustice of period poverty and the need for period dignity for all.
Thank you to everyone who has been in touch to support the #freeperiodproducts Bill. Your ideas have been brilliant and your energy has given the campaign a real boost. Stage 1 voting on 25th February.
— Monica Lennon (@MonicaLennon7) February 18, 2020
One in eight young people have accessed free period products because they couldn’t afford them, according to a recent Young Scot survey. Thankfully work rolled out by the Scottish Government has started to address this by making tampons, pads and reusables as common as toilet paper in schools, colleges and universities and providing them in some community settings.
I applaud the work the Scottish Government has undertaken. Likewise, Scottish Parliament buildings are stocked with free tampons and pads. So if MSPs can conveniently access pads and tampons, shouldn’t everyone else be able to do so? That’s why I’m asking colleagues to back the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill to create free universal access to period products for all who need them.