The biggest reason for period poverty: the cloud of stigma + serious dearth of education on the subject which in turn led to women having no knowledge of menstrual hygiene. Thankfully, there are counties like Scotland that are consciously leading the change. They just became the first country to provide people with free menstrual products. This is a leap forward!
The Scottish parliament announced this change after passing the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act which was first approved in 2020. According to this new law, free period products will be available to anyone who needs them. Now, the women in Scotland have the legal right to have free access to menstrual hygiene products in all public buildings- including schools and universities.
According to a government press release which was circulated earlier this year, women will be able to identify where the closest place to get sanitary pads or tampons is through an app called PickUpMyPeriod. There are over 1,000 locations shown on this app and it will be the responsibility of local authorities to ensure that these period products are being given out free of charge. Additionally, this law has stipulated some funding for an educational website, implemented a campaign to do away with the stigma and provided better menstrual health resources.
This law was the brainchild of Scottish Labour lawmaker Monica Lennon. Once it passed, she took to Twitter to say, "Proud of what we have achieved in Scotland. We are the first but won't be the last."
Let’s hope we follow suit soon!