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Tampons and sanitary towels are not luxury goods, but a necessary everyday item for women. Scotland is the first country in the world to oblige public buildings to provide them free of charge. Scotland was the first country in the world to vote for free access to menstrual products. The law passed unanimously in Parliament in Edinburgh makes the free provision of toiletries for women in public buildings compulsory. “We all agree that no one should worry about where the next tampons are coming from,” said Monica Lennon, MP, who introduced the bill, before the vote.
Menstrual products are already free for schoolchildren in Scotland. The bill now obliges lawmakers to put in place a nationwide system to ensure that everyone has access to them. Schools and universities are also required to provide a range of hygiene products free of charge in their toilet rooms. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the decision: “I am proud to vote for this groundbreaking piece of legislation that will make Scotland the first country in the world to provide free products for everyone who needs them,” she wrote on Twitter. She described the decision as “an important policy for women and girls”.