BY KIMBERLY ROSE
While the fight may continue in the U.S., Scotland is moving ways ahead with women’s health with their newest announcement. Scotland will become the first country in the world to hand out free sanitary products to low-income women – a new initiative that was announced last Tuesday. The project will run a pilot for six months in low-income parts of Aberdeen, Scotland – a coastal city with a population of 212,000. It’s expected for at least 1,000 women and girls to benefit from the scheme.
With the increasing number of women and girls who are using newspaper or toilet paper (and not the costlier tampons or towels), this trial is necessary to tackle “period poverty.”
“The pilot in Aberdeen is a first step to help us understand the barriers women and girls face – and to help us develop a sensitive and dignified solution to making these products easily accessible to those who need them,” said Equalities Secretary Angela Constance.
The trial will be run by Community Food Initiatives (CFINE), a social enterprise which focuses on improving the health of impoverished areas. The Scottish government allegedly gave around $12,000 to CFINE for the program.
CFINE CEO Dave Simmers said that throughout a woman’s life, hygienic products add up to cost more than 5,000 pounds on average – much too expensive for those with a low income. The trial will do whatever it can to guarantee dignity, as it shouldn’t be shameful to reach out for help.
Just last week, Scotland and Wales announced their plans to offer Northern Irish women access to free abortions, so this isn’t the only recent win in Scotland. With women’s health becoming more of a priority elsewhere, hopefully, other countries will follow in the same footsteps.