The measure came into force on Monday (15), almost two years after the bill was passed.
Scotland has become the first country in the world to offer menstrual products for free in public establishments. The measure went into effect on Monday (15), almost two years after the bill was passed, in 2020.
With the initiative, sanitary pads and tampons will be available free of charge in public buildings, including schools and universities across the country. It will be the responsibility of local authorities and education providers to provide these items to the population.
The bill was conceived by the labor legislator Monica Lennon in 2019. The objective is to reduce menstrual poverty rates in the country, providing equal access to menstrual products for the entire population. According to official statistics, 20% of women in Scotland live in relative poverty.
Read too: Menstrual poverty affects 43% of women in the Northeast
Other programs have already been implemented in the country in order to combat menstrual poverty. In 2018, the Scottish government announced that students at schools, colleges and universities across the country could access sanitary products for free. Already in 2019, around four million euros were allocated to make menstrual period products available free of charge in libraries and recreation centers.
What is menstrual poverty?
menstrual poverty is a term used to characterize the lack of access to menstrual productssuch as sanitary pads and collectors, basic sanitation, toilets, resources for hygiene, garbage collection and medicines to manage menstrual problems, as well as the lack of medical services and knowledge of the body itself to take care of the menstrual period.
The issue is a Brazilian reality as well. According to the report “Menstrual Poverty in Brazil: inequality and rights violations”, made by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 62% of 13-24 year olds have already stopped going to school or other places because of menstruation. In addition, 3% of Brazilian students attend schools that do not have a clean bathroom.
As a consequence, in addition to these people skipping school due to menstruation, there is also a higher risk of infections, as many people use risky alternatives to stop menstruation. This is the case of using cotton, towels and even bread crumbs in the vagina.
Know more: Menstrual poverty: understand what it means and its impact
In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) signed, in March this year, a decree that offers the distribution of hygiene items, such as sanitary towels, free of charge. However, the measure is only available to homeless women, adolescents and young people aged 12 to 21 who are in socio-educational measures and students aged 9 to 24 enrolled in schools that are part of the Saúde na Escola program.
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Minha Vida Website – REF99827
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