Scotland politics

Holyrood introduces free sanitary products

sanitary products Image copyright Andrew Cowan
Image caption The free products will be available in all of the parliament's female toilets

The Scottish Parliament has become the latest building to introduce free sanitary products for all staff and visitors.

The move follows concern over the accessibility and affordability of tampons and towels.

The decision from the all-party Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body means free sanitary products will be available in all 42 women's toilets.

It was hailed as a "win for gender equality" by MSP Kezia Dugdale.

The cost of providing the free sanitary products is expected to be between £2,000 and £3,000 a year.

Ms Dugdale, who is a member of the corporate body, said women often found it difficult to access sanitary products during the working day.

'Leading by example'

She added: "Despite half of the population experiencing menstruation at some point, very few workplaces have taken steps to become period-friendly and that's why I'm pleased the Scottish Parliament is leading by example.

"Whether you work at Holyrood, are a visiting member of the public or are here with classmates on a school trip, you will have fuss-free access to sanitary products should you need them.

"Periods are a part of life and good workplace policies like this are good for staff health and wellbeing."

Her Labour colleague, Monica Lennon, is bringing forward a member's bill to create a statutory duty for free provision of sanitary products.

Ms Lennon also welcomed the move and called on other parliaments, buildings and employers to take similar action.