By Democrat reporter
Some women and girls in 21st century Scotland are so poor that they cannot afford to buy sanitary products.
And many of them have to depend on food banks as places where they can obtain them.
Labour MSP Monica Lennon, pictured right, told the Holyrood parliament today: “This week, I introduced my member’s bill on the provision of free period products. If passed, the bill will make Scotland a world leader, giving legal underpinning to the provision in schools, colleges and universities that has already been rolled out and going further by establishing a universal opt-in system to allow anyone in Scotland to access free period products, should they need them.
“I know that the First Minister agrees that access to period products should be a right and not a privilege. Building on the strong cross-party consensus that exists, will the First Minister confirm today whether she backs my bill and will the Scottish Government enthusiastically get behind the proposals?”
The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, told her: “We will certainly look very carefully at the provisions of the bill. In terms of what the bill is trying to achieve, I am 100 per cent behind that. I pay tribute to all those who have campaigned on the issue. Scotland is already a world leader in tackling period poverty. We already have free sanitary products available in schools, colleges and universities and a growing number of private sector organisations are following suit.”
She said that while Monica Lennon is to be commended for introducing the bill, parliament should not wait for legislation to encourage all organisations and companies to do what they have already done in Government— “lead from the front and ensure that no person has to go without sanitary products that they cannot afford. Free access should be the norm everywhere in Scotland.”