A Scotland law against period poverty that the country’s government touted as the first of its kind worldwide came into effect on Monday.
It requires councils and education providers to make period products available free of charge to anyone who needs them, the Scottish government said in a statement.
“As the cost-of-living crisis takes hold, the Period Products Act is a beacon of hope which shows what can be achieved when politicians come together for the good of the people we serve,” said lawmaker Monica Lennon, who pushed for the law that was passed in 2020.
Scotland has already invested around 27 million pounds ($32 US million) since 2017 to ensure access to tampons and sanitary pads in public places.
Schools are already required to provide period products as of last year, and Monday marks the expansion of those rules.
“We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action,” Scotland’s Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said.
Period poverty, meaning when women, girls and those who menstruate cannot afford period products, is a problem in many countries worldwide.
Aid organisation Plan International said in 2017 that 10 per cent of girls and young women aged 14 to 21 in the UK could not afford any period products, while 15 per cent had financial problems affording them.