Tackling period poverty: Scotland becomes first country to make period products free

Scotland has become the first country in the world to make period products available free to anyone who needs them after the Period Products Bill was passed on Tuesday night (local time).

Scottish Labour Party member Monica Lennon fronted a three-year campaign to tackle period poverty and said it was "about bloody time".

Lennon says tampons and pads are a basic necessity and believes that providing access to them is important for people's dignity. 

Under the Bill, a Scotland-wide scheme will be set up to allow anyone who needs period products to get them free of charge.

Schools, colleges and universities must make a range of period products available for free, in their toilets.

The Scottish government will also have the power to make other public bodies provide period products for free.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, said this was "groundbreaking legislation".

"Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all girls who need them," she wrote on Twitter.

"An important policy for women and girls."

The AM Show host Amanda Gillies said she hopes New Zealand is next in line for this scheme.

"Goodness it is so overdue," she said on The AM Show on Tuesday.

"It has to happen here… it's just not right."

The New Zealand Government in June announced a step towards tackling period poverty by providing products in schools.

Fifteen of the most deprived schools in the Waikato were given free period products and the scheme will be expanded to all state and state-integrated schools in 2021.