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Scotland on Monday will become the first country in the world to provide universal access to free sanitary products, following the passing of landmark legislation in 2020, according to news agency AFP. Now, the Councils and education providers will be legally required to make period products available free of charge to everybody.

In an official statement as quoted by AFP, Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said, "It is fundamental to equality and dignity to provide free access to period products. It will also remove the financial barriers to accessing them. We are proud to be the world's first country to take such an action."

The Scottish parliament voted unanimously for the Period Products Bill, which made it legally right to have free access to all sanitary products in public buildings in November 2020. In Scotland, the period products were already free for pupils and students, but the bill now placed a legal duty on ministers to ensure its free access to anyone.

According to the Bill, schools, colleges, and universities are also required to make a range of sanitary products available free in their toilets.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the decision on social media and said, "Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them. An important policy for women and girls."

In 2018, the Scottish parliament had passed a bill that assures women menstruation products free of charge for all the students. The law mandates that free tampons and sanitary pads be made available in all public spaces, such as community centres and drug stores.

After passing the bill for students, Lawmaker Monica Lennon, the bill’s sponsor, called it a “milestone moment for normalizing menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality".

 

(With AFP inputs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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