Sep 14, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Scotland is working to end "period poverty" for girls and women. 

Thanks to a $6.8 million influx from the Scottish government, students at schools, colleges, and universities in Scotland will have access to free sanitary products. 

It's the first government in the world to make free sanitary products available to all of its 395,000 students.

Its purpose? To "banish the scourge of period poverty," when girls and women cannot afford basic sanitary products.

The Guardian reported that about 25 percent of girls and women cannot afford monthly access to sanitary products.

The Scottish government worked with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Colleges Scotland, Universities Scotland, and the Scottish Funding Council to develop the plan. 

The Guardian reported that the communities secretary, Aileen Campbell, said, "In a country as rich as Scotland it’s unacceptable that anyone should struggle to buy basic sanitary products.

“I am proud that Scotland is taking this world-leading action to fight period poverty and I welcome the support of local authorities, colleges and universities in implementing this initiative.

“Our £5.2m investment will mean these essential products will be available to those who need them in a sensitive and dignified way, which will make it easier for students to fully focus on their studies.”

According to the report, Hey Girls, an East Lothian-based company will be on of the program's biggest providers. The company, which started in January of this year, supplies products to the City of Edinburgh council, Glasgow city council, South Lanarkshire council, West Lothian council, Stirling council, and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Celia Hodson, Hey Girls founder, said that the program marked "a real milestone in the fight against period poverty."

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon said, "No one should face the indignity of being unable to access these essential products to manage their period.”

Learn more about Scotland. 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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