FSRH statement: FSRH supports Members Bill to provide universal free sanitary products in Scotland

Posted 6 December 2019

Date: 06 Dec 2019

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

Dr Alison Scott, Chair of the FSRH Scotland Committee, submits a statement supporting the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, a Members Bill introduced in the Scottish Parliament by Monica Lennon MSP in April 2019.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive healthcare, supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care with nearly 1,200 members working in Scotland.

FSRH in Scotland commends the Scottish Government’s commitment to the provision of free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities. This increases the dignity of those having periods and reduces school absences caused by lack of available sanitary products. The additional funding which supports provision for low income families via food banks, libraries and leisure centres supplying sanitary products has also helped lots of others who have periods.

Scotland has led the way by being the first country to champion free provision of sanitary supplies. There remain many other people who would benefit from universal provision of free sanitary products. Those who are not attending educational establishments or food banks where free products are available but who are still struggling with low income would be able to continue their daily lives with free products; at the moment this may be a barrier to going to work or participating in daily activities.

The FSRH in Scotland supports the universal provision of free sanitary products either in widespread settings such as public toilets, pharmacies and workplaces or through a scheme similar to c:card (free condom provision). Not only does this support those having periods to avoid compromising their dignity, but it allows them to continue to go to work and undertake their everyday tasks without embarrassment. In addition, it provides an opportunity to promote engagement with healthcare services through displays/posters/leaflets alongside the sanitary products. Information about cervical screening, contraception, infection screening, breast awareness, domestic violence and other issues could be used to raise awareness amongst those collecting the products.

 You can read more about the Members Bill here.