A Skye woman whose initiative has provided hundreds of free sanitary items to Highland and Islands residents has welcomed the passing of a landmark bill to make period products free for all in Scotland.
On Tuesday, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for all following unanimous approval from MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
The passing of the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, which was first introduced by Labour MSP Monica Lennon in 2016, means:
• The Scottish Government must set up a Scotland-wide scheme 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 have the power to make other public bodies provide period products for free
Through her initiative – Girl Post – islander Sophie Isaacson has sent out hundreds of care parcels filled with period supplies to anyone, of any age, who needs them across the Highlands and Islands.
Girl Post simply asked people to send an email or a private message on Facebook to receive a care package — which were then sent out two or three times a week depending on demand.
Reacting to the passing of the landmark bill, Sophie told the Free Press: “I am so pleased to see that Monica’s bill on free access to period products has been successful.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and so inspiring that Scotland are leading the rest of the world on this piece of legislation.
“It’s crucial that everyone has the right to a safe and dignified period, without having to miss school, college or work.”
She added: “We have sent out hundreds of period packages over the past year and are totally aware of the importance and impact of this new bill.”
Ms Lennon’s aim for the bill is to tackle “period poverty”, which is when some people who need period products struggle to afford them.
Her party colleague, Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant, told the Free Press: “I am so proud of Monica Lennon and Scottish Labour. Period products are essential, and now no-one in Scotland will have to go without them.
“This is a landmark victory for period poverty, it is a landmark day for Scotland and for everyone who has campaigned. Now the rest of the world must follow.”