Free menstrual hygiene products for women! FINALLY. Scotland recently announced it will be starting an initiative to provide low-income women in certain parts of Scotland with free menstrual hygiene products. Other countries take note.
Scotland has recently taken a positive step toward helping end what is known as “period poverty”. Menstrual hygiene products are a necessity for women, but not all women can afford that monthly expense. “There are women and girls in Scotland who use newspaper or toilet paper instead of tampons or towels because they cannot afford to buy them.” (BBC News) Therefore, Scotland announced that it will give low-income women free menstrual hygiene products. This initiative “will run for six months in seven low-income parts of Aberdeen, a coastal city in Scotland with a population of 212,000. The initiative will provide free sanitary products in schools in low-income areas, as well as in women’s and homeless shelters.” (Huffington Post) Although this initiative is a positive step forward, some are saying that it should continue even further by providing free menstrual hygiene products for all women in Scotland.
Closer to home in North America, there are campaigns that are trying to change the way menstrual hygiene products are taxed. #TamponsForAll and #NoTaxOnTampons are hashtags that you have probably seen written on picket signs or on social media. These hashtags are part of a larger discussion to help bring attention to the fact that in a majority of states in the USA, menstrual hygiene products are taxed as luxury items. “There is no “tampon tax” which specifically is pointed at feminine products, but many USA states do not exempt the product from the regular state sales tax.” (BBC News) Fortunately across the border in Canada, it has been over 2 years now since the Canadian government has removed the tax from menstrual hygiene products. “After months of pressure to act, the federal government is removing the GST and HST from tampons and other feminine hygiene products, effective July 1, 2015.” (National Post)