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Scotland Becomes First Country To Give Free Sanitary Products To Low-Income Women

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A Scottish initiative (partly inspired by the movie I, Daniel Blake) to provide women from low-income households in Aberdeen with free sanitary products is to be officially rolled out across Scotland.

The Government scheme, which aims to tackle “period poverty”, is considered a world first and will be made available to residents with little money, including girls in “school, college or university”.

According to the BBC, the scheme was first launched in July last year and, since being renewed for another six-month pilot in March, has distributed free products to more than 1,000 women.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance has now announced plans to provide charity FareShare with more than £500,000 to extend the project to reach an estimated 18,800 more people.

As the Scotsman reports, free sanitary products will also be available to those “at school, college or university from August.”

The campaign to provide free feminine hygiene products was led by Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) – and had been welcomed by anti-poverty groups, including The Trussell Trust.

It follows growing calls demanding “dignity” for women whose budgets do not quite stretch to sanitary protection.

The scheme was – in part – inspired by Ken Loach’s 2016 film “I, Daniel Blake” which includes a scene where an impoverished female character shoplifts a packet of tampons.

A Scottish initiative (partly inspired by the movie I, Daniel Blake) to provide women from low-income households in Aberdeen with free sanitary products is to be officially rolled out across Scotland.

The Government scheme, which aims to tackle “period poverty”, is considered a world first and will be made available to residents with little money, including girls in “school, college or university”.

Menstrual protection (Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

According to the BBC, the scheme was first launched in July last year and, since being renewed for another six-month pilot in March, has distributed free products to more than 1,000 women.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance has now announced plans to provide charity FareShare with more than £500,000 to extend the project to reach an estimated 18,800 more people.

As the Scotsman reports, free sanitary products will also be available to those “at school, college or university from August.”

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Scot Gov Fairer
@ScotGovFairer
Following a pilot with @CFINEAberdeen, FareShare will distribute sanitary products with the aim of reaching approx. 18,800 more people – https://news.gov.scot/news/providing-free-sanitary-products-1 …

10:39 AM – May 30, 2018
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The campaign to provide free feminine hygiene products was led by Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) – and had been welcomed by anti-poverty groups, including The Trussell Trust.

It follows growing calls demanding “dignity” for women whose budgets do not quite stretch to sanitary protection.

The scheme was – in part – inspired by Ken Loach’s 2016 film “I, Daniel Blake” which includes a scene where an impoverished female character shoplifts a packet of tampons.

Scriptwriter Paul Laverty reportedly penned the scene after meeting with women who struggled to afford essential hygiene products.

“It is unacceptable that anyone in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary products,” Constance said.

Gillian Kynoch, head of FareShare in Scotland, said: “We are excited to be working with the Scottish government to use our network to make sanitary products available to people across Scotland.”

Labour MSP Monica Lennon welcomed the extension plans, but called for a statutory requirement to ensure free provision in schools, colleges and universities as well as “placing a duty on the Scottish government to deliver a free universal system of access”.

She said: “Scotland can be a world leader in tackling period poverty if we are bold enough to take these radical steps.”

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