Scotland is all set to become the first country to make sanitary items like pads and tampons absolutely free for women. As per a Reuters report, on February 25, the Scottish Parliament sanctioned a plan to make menstrual products available completely free in public spaces like community centres, pharmacies and youth clubs.
As a matter of national policy, Scotland has been providing pads and tampons free of charge at schools and universities since the year 2018.
The new plan will cost Edinburgh around $31.2 million (Rs 222 crore) a year. The legislation was passed with an initial vote of 112 in favour and it is now headed to a second phase during which legislators can propose amendments.
The legislation is indeed a “milestone moment for normalising menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality,” ABC quoted the bill’s sponsor, Monica Lennon as saying.
She said: “We are changing the culture and it’s really exciting that other countries right around the world are watching very closely to see what we do.”
Such plan should definitely be brought in India where millions of women from the lower middle class and coming from a poor background cannot afford sanitary products which is a basic necessity.
Meet the sensations Muruganantham & Maya- ‘Padman & Padwoman of India
Maya Vishwakarma, a woman scientist in Madhya Pradesh who returned from the US has been intensely working on an important mission to create and spread awareness about menstrual health to the tribal women by offering them affordable sanitary pads. She is a good example of how the taboo surrounding menstruation affects girls and women in our country.
Coming from a village in MP’s Narsinghpur district, she had no clue or she did not know anything about sanitary napkins until she was 26 years old. As a consequence, she encountered a lot of health issues, and now the 36-year-old woman is silently working to ensure that other girls and women do not have to go through such terrible situations like her.
Maya visits women from all across India creating and spreading awareness about the virtual importance of using sanitary napkins and breaking the taboos around menstruation. Her foundation also manufactures sanitary napkins at a cheap and affordable cost and give them to these girls and women.
In the two years since she started her mission, she has already changed the lives of more than 2,000 women across the nation. Describing her work to The New Indian Express, she told, “The money for the machine and the unit was sourced through crowdfunding, personal savings and from friends working abroad for the California and India chapter of the Sukarma Foundation founded by me.
It was while scouting for the best and cost-efficient machinery for producing sanitary pads that I met the real ‘Padman’ (Muruganatham) two years ago and saw the machine being used by him.”