What happened: Scotland has become the first country to allow free and universal access to menstrual products, including tampons and pads, in public facilities, a landmark victory for the global movement against period poverty.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, posted on Twitter shortly after the vote on Tuesday evening that she was “proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation” which she called an “important policy for women and girls.”
The bill’s accompanying financial memorandum estimates it could cost around £8.7 million a year by 2022, depending on the number of women who will take advantage of the free products. In a document supporting the legislation, Lennon said it was reasonable to expect 20% uptake of the scheme given the fact that official inequality statistics show that nearly 20% of women in Scotland live in relative poverty. The new law was praised by a number of equality and women’s rights groups as well as politicians from across the parties represented in the Scottish Parliament.