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Scotland first country to pass law making period products free for all

A person restocks tampons at Compton's Market, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A person restocks tampons at Compton's Market, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

A law has taken effect in Scotland to ensure period products are available free of charge to anyone who needs them.

The Scottish government says it became the first in the world to legally protect the right to access free period products when its Period Products Act came into force yesterday.

Under the new law, schools, colleges and universities as well as local government bodies must make a range of period products available for free in their bathrooms. The Scottish government already invested millions of pounds since 2017 to fund free period products in educational institutions, but the law makes it a legal requirement.

A mobile phone app also helps people find the nearest place — such as the local library or community center — where they can pick up period products.

“Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them,” Scottish Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison says.

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