At Lady Business we are delighted to see the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill reach its final stage. This Bill has become such an important part of our group and each of our individual lives. As people who menstruate and activists, we recognise the importance of this Bill and being students, we see first-hand the impact that a lack of sanitary products can have. This need for access to sanitary products has motivated us in our fight. Since our creation a year ago we have introduced and maintained free and accessible sanitary products in every toilet in our school. Since the implementation of these products, we have seen a decrease in girls leaving and missing classes. Furthermore, we can guarantee that since our creation, the stigma of periods has significantly decreased. Within our school, we find more young women and girls feeling confident to talk about their periods, less feeling like they are dirty or taboo, and more males feeling educated on menstruation.
The small difference we have been able to make within our school and local area confirms to us that access to sanitary products needs to be rolled out on a national level. It is undeniable that every day people who menstruate are unable to attend work and school due to their period. Research done in 2018 by Women for Independence shows that 1 in 5 women had experienced period poverty. However, we would like to commend the barriers that have already been broken down by this Bill even being proposed. Starting a conversation about period poverty, especially one that is led by MSPs is not only necessary but imperative. As a country we need to demonstrate to those who menstruate that periods are not something to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, the obvious way for the Government to show that they are supportive of this conversation, is to pass this Bill.
Whatever the outcome of this final stage, Lady Business has been and will continue to be enormous supporters of this Bill. We have been honoured to be a part of this process, and whatever the outcome, our fight will not stop.