Scotland's 'period poverty' bill officially lodged at Holyrood

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Monica Lennon's Member's BillImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Monica Lennon's Member's Bill is a bid to end period poverty in Scotland

Legislation has been officially lodged at the Scottish Parliament to ensure free access to sanitary products for all women.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon said her member's bill aimed to make Scotland a "world leader" in tackling period poverty.

It would make it a statutory requirement for schools, colleges and universities to provide such items.

The Scottish government has pledged £4m to boost provision in public buildings.

The successful rollout of a scheme offering free sanitary products in educational buildings in August 2018 has boosted the move to make it a legal requirement.

Image caption,
Public buildings will have to offer free sanitary products

A number of other sites, such as railway stations, football stadiums and shopping centres, have also introduced similar schemes.

Ms Lennon, Labour's health spokeswoman, is calling on MSPs from all parties to back her Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill.

She said: "Scotland has a chance to be a world leader by passing my member's bill and creating a universal system of free access to period products.

"Across the UK, grass roots campaigners have already delivered significant change on period poverty. It's now time for Scotland to put access on a legal footing, lead the rest of the UK and the world."

She added: "Access to period products should be a basic right but sadly in Scotland we know not everyone can afford or obtain what they need.

"This law would be a step towards a fairer, more equitable society for us all to live in."