Scotland to Become First Country to Make Pads and Tampons Free

Scotland will become the first country to provide free pads and tampons. Parliament approved the measure to make feminine hygiene products free in public spaces which include community centers, pharmacies and youth clubs.

Prior to this law, Scotland has been providing students at schools and universities with free pads and tampons since 2018. The move addressed the disparity, as a previous survey that found 1 in 4 women at schools and universities had trouble accessing pads and tampons.

In a debate, Monica Lennon, who sponsored the bill, called this move a “milestone moment for normalizing menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality.”

The new law will cost Edinburgh $31.2 million annually.

The Realist Woman’s take:

Hallelujah! Go Scotland! The yearly $31.2 million spent on women's care is money well spent. This is an unprecedented move, all in an effort to support women and normalize menstruation. As we’ve learned over recent years, many women around the world cannot afford pads and tampons. In certain parts of the world, menstruation is a form of shame and girls are shunned from school, home and entire communities because they have no access to feminine products and menstruation is considered unclean and not normal by their culture. 

This is such a win for women in Scotland. In California, I was praising the fact that these products are now tax-free, as activists and women’s organizations have been fighting against the pink-tax, a form of price gouging women’s personal care products. But making the products free is supporting women on a whole other level.

It’s refreshing to see this country walking the walk when it comes to taking steps to address gender inequality and women's personal care.

women wearing purple looking ahead