Sky news reported that North Ayrshire in Scotland has become the first local authority in the UK to provide free sanitary products in public buildings. In an attempt to tackle period poverty, the council said that women and girls would be given free sanitary towels and tampons via vending machines in toilets in public premises.
It comes after the service was made available in secondary schools in the council region this month.
Studies have shown that period poverty is a particularly acute problem in Scotland. Plan International UK, a girls’ rights charity, found that 45% of respondents were obliged to use makeshift sanitary wear. Some women were reduced to using newspaper and socks. The problem affects one in 10 in the UK overall – growing alongside the numbers of poor and the use of food banks.
But the campaign for women’s menstruation to be treated more openly has come to the fore – alongside broader concerns about degrading and abusive treatment for women.”If it isn’t a subject that people talk about, then it isn’t something girls can simply ask for,” said Gabby Edlin, chief executive and founder of the charitable project Bloody Good Period.She added that public authorities addressing the issue directly by providing sanitary products was revolutionary.