Bill to end period poverty receives 96% backing in consultation

8 March 2018, 06:30

Calendar with sanitary products on it

An MSP campaigning to end period poverty has said the "time is right" for Holyrood to pass legislation to tackle the problem.

Labour's Monica Lennon said Scotland could "lead the world" on the issue by passing her member's bill.

She has brought forward proposals which create a new duty on ministers to introduce a universal system of free provision of sanitary products.

In addition, schools, colleges and universities would be required to provide free items for women and girls in their toilets.

A consultation revealed support of 96% for the proposals becoming law.

A total of 1,753 responses were received to Ms Lennon's Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill - with 1,677 backing it and 47 individuals and organisations opposed.

Ms Lennon said: "Proposals to end period poverty in Scotland have been met with overwhelming public support. The time is right to legislate - Scotland can lead the world on this."

She added: "Access to sanitary products should be a basic right but sadly in Scotland we know not everyone can afford or obtain what they need.

"Given the level of support, I intend to move forward with a member's bill which would introduce a legal duty on the Scottish Government to develop a universal system in Scotland which will provide free sanitary products for anyone who needs them.

"There should also be a statutory duty on schools, colleges and universities to provide free sanitary products in their toilets. Having your period shouldn't result in anyone missing class.

"I hope my bill gains support from across the Holyrood chamber. This is bigger than party politics, this is about a fairer future for women and girls in Scotland."