A new bill to bring in the legal right of free access to items such as tampons and sanitary pads for anyone who needs them was passed on Tuesday

It will also require schools, colleges and universities to make a range of period products available for free

Scotland’s parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation making period products freely available to all.

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, brought forward by Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon, will bring in the legal right of free access to items such as tampons and sanitary pads.

Under the bill, the Scottish government must set up a nationwide scheme to allow anyone who needs period products to get them free of charge. It will also require schools, colleges and universities to make a range of period products available for free.

The bill will also give the Scotland’s devolved government the power to make other public bodies provide period products for free.

“Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them,” Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a tweet after the vote.

Lennon said the bill was a “practical and progressive” piece of legislation, made all the more vital because of the

, according to the Press Association news agency.

“Periods don’t stop for pandemics and the work to improve access to essential tampons, pads and reusables has never been more important,” she said.

“On the issue of period dignity, I am beyond proud that Scotland is leading the way and we have moved at a fast pace in a short space of time.”

Scotland, as a constituent country of the

, has had its own modern-day parliament since 1999 following a referendum on devolution two years before that. The Scottish government runs the country in relation to matters that have been devolved from the parliament at Westminster, including the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport and taxation.

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