Free sanitary products will be provided to all students in Scotland

The government scheme aims to end period poverty

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From September 2018, all female students in Scotland will be provided with free sanitary products in an attempt by the Scottish government to end period poverty.

Every school, college and university in the country will be part of the government funded scheme which will give out sanitary products such as sanitary towels and tampons for free.

The launch of the £5.2 million Scottish government scheme coincides with the start of the new academic year and is set to improve the lives of the many girls and women who are being impacted by period poverty every day.

Edinburgh University in Scotland will be one of the Scottish Universities to receive the new government funding

After a recent survey by the National Scottish Youth site, Young Scot, found one in four respondents at school, college or university had struggled to access sanitary products – the Scottish government responded by putting their new scheme in place.

The Scottish government have worked hard on their new scheme with universities and colleges across Scotland, as students in particular sometimes struggle to afford the necessary products they need whilst they are on their periods.

The tampon tax in particular has previously caused outrage as the British government have considered sanitary products to be a "luxurious, non-essential item". However, Scotland is leading the fight to end period poverty as they believe no one should have to face the indignity of not being able to access these products.

Aileen Campbell, the Government Communities Secretary said:
"In a country as rich as Scotland, it's unacceptable that anyone should struggle to buy basic sanitary products.

"Our £5.2m investment will mean these essential products will be available to those who need them in a sensitive and dignified way, which will make it easier for students to fully focus on their studies."

Furthermore, Monica Lennon, a Scottish Labour MSP has also commented: "This is another great step forward in the campaign against period poverty. No-one should face the indignity of being unable to access these essential products to manage their period.

"Access to period products should be a right, regardless of your income, which is why I am moving ahead with plans for legislation to introduce a universal system of free access to period products for everyone in Scotland.”

Other universities in the UK already offer free sanitary products at their Students' Union, such as Nottingham University. However, many universities are still charging expensive prices for tampons including UCL, Cardiff University and Southampton.