On Tuesday night, the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill was passed which allows those who need sanitary products such as pads and tampons to access them free of charge in Scotland.
The bill also makes it mandatory for institutions such as schools, colleges and universities to have such products accessible.
The bill is a bid to tackle the rising problem of period poverty which affects women and girls worldwide. According to the period product company Bodyform 1 in 10 girls can’t afford to buy sanitary products in the UK and The Borgen Project reported ‘an estimated 49 percent of girls have missed a day of school due to their periods’.
News of the Scottish reform saw a huge amount of positive reactions on Twitter from both women and men alike.
Scotland has made sanitary pads free for every girl child 👏🏼now this is great progress! This should go for every country..sanitary pads are pretty expensive and to think others really can't afford them and have have to cut out pieces of their old clothes is just heart breaking
— Miss_Bu (@mthunzi_busile) November 26, 2020
I’m so proud of Scotland making sanitary products free. I can’t imagine what woman have to go through every month and I praise each and every one of you. Any man who tries to talkdown on the subject deserves a slap. Hopefully the rest of the world makes this happen also🏴
— KOOLKID (@koolkidsongs) November 26, 2020
There were also a number of negative reactions to the bill being passed.
Equal Rights!!! MEN DEMAND FREE TOILET PAPER!!!
— walking with Him (@WalkingHim) November 26, 2020
Free Feminine products is sexist!!! We must unite for equality. Men, women, and the uncertains of the world. We all share a butt hole. We all wipe our asses daily. Thus in order to achieve equality we must have universal access to toilet paper. Kayfabe don’t be a selfish pig
— Nicholas Miller (@Ncmiller113) November 25, 2020
Although social media saw a mixture of reactions, the majority of them were positive and discussion surrounding the topic fuelled the long-standing debate of whether menstrual products should be considered to be a luxury or not.
Furthermore, social media users began to question if and when other countries will make a similar step in the right direction.
We spoke to some young women on their reactions to the news:
Whether you agree or not with the bill being passed, there is no denying that Scotland is playing their part in the fight to end period poverty, and striving in the direction of gender equality.
Words by: Ella Webster | Subbing: Grace Staley