We didn't ask to have periods, so apart from all the bleeding and the hormonal changes, we get to pay for it. Well, not anymore, at least in Scotland!
Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) passed the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill unanimously, after its first introduction in 2017.
It's a proud day for Scotland and women worldwide
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill requires local authorities to ensure that period products are generally available free of charge. Schools and colleges must ensure period products are freely accessible to students, and selected public places must also make the products available.
The Scottish government has calculated the measure will cost 24 million pounds a year or about 32 million dollars.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, praised the bill on Twitter:
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.
Monica Lennon, who introduced and championed the legislation, thanked people for supporting period dignity and to her colleagues for backing the bill:
A proud day for Scotland and a signal to the world that free universal access to period products can be achieved.
The price of menstrual hygiene
When you go to the restaurant to relieve yourself, you always have toilet paper. If not, you demand it. What's the difference between having to go to the bathroom and getting your period?
Periods come with pads, tampons, destroyed underwear, and even destroyed clothes.
According to some researches, women spend between 250 and 600 USD each year on periods alone.
But it doesn't stop there. You pay for the laundry, just like you have to pay for menstrual complications. And don't forget period cravings, annual check-ups,...
Women aren't asking the world to pay for everything, but having the basic hygiene products is necessary.
Two years ago, Scotland began providing free period products in schools, colleges, and universities. They were the first then, and now, women will no longer have to pay more for being born as females.
Scotland is a trailblazer, and other countries need to follow this example.