Scotland becomes the first country in the world to make the use of sanitary towels free and accessible to any female who need it.
The Scottish Parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill — which is designed to create a legal obligation for the government to ensure sanitary products are free and accessible for all who menstruate, including tampons and pads in public facilities nationwide.
According to estimates from the Scottish government, the cost to implement the legislation will be about £24 million annually (almost $32 million).
The Bill was introduced by Scottish Parliament member Monica Lennon. Lennon’s aim was to tackle “period poverty,” and aid those who need menstrual products but struggle to afford them.
“A proud day for Scotland and a signal to the world that free universal access to period products can be achieved,” Lennon tweeted Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Lennon expressed her optimism surrounding the legislation’s success and thanked supporters.
“Scotland will not be the last country to make period poverty history,” she said. “Legislation is a world-leading opportunity to secure period dignity for all women, girls and people who menstruate.”
Lennon also noted that the country “has already taken great strides to improve access to period products.” In 2018, Scotland made period products free in schools, colleges and universities.