I was always outraged about products that were obviously a necessity, like pads and tampons, being taxed as luxury products. I mean…what type of government puts the same tax on jewels that they do on pads? Clearly, a government made up mostly of men. I just picture a cabinet of geriatric white males discussing the issue: “since jewels and pads are both worn by women…let’s tax them the same.”
However, this week Scotland made history by announcing that they will not only reduce tax on their menstrual products – they will make them free! This initiative was made to end the global movement against period poverty that affects millions of women worldwide, both in developed and in developing countries.
The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously in favor of the Period Products bill on Tuesday, meaning that period products will be available absolutely free in public buildings, including schools and universities across Scotland. According to the new rules, it will be up to local authorities and education providers to ensure the products are available free of charge.
“The campaign has been backed by a wide coalition, including trade unions, women’s organizations, and charities,” Monica Lennon, the lawmaker who introduced the bill last year, said ahead of the vote. “Scotland will not be the last country to make period poverty history.”
Lennon hopes that this decision is “a signal to the world that free universal access to period products can be achieved.” USA – are you listening? Let’s be next and set an example!