Menstrual Products Should be Free, Period

Theresa Kabasela, Staff Writer

Ladies, imagine this. You are in the bathroom and you have to go change your pad, but you forgot to bring an extra in your purse. You either have to ask somebody for help or suffer in silence, an option that is not so fun. Unfortunately, this scenario is not an uncommon experience for women as most will most likely experience something like this at least once in their lives. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Periods are a natural, normal thing for women and should not be something that brings negativity or challenges to their lives because they cannot obtain what they need. Menstrual products are a necessity, not a luxury. This is why period products should be readily available in the workplace environment. 

Millions of young girls are uncertain and lack knowledge. Far too many do not have access to the products they need to handle their period each month. According to a report from, a youth-fueled nonprofit, one in five girls in the U.S. has left or missed school time due to the absence of period products in their school, workplace, or home. This often results in increased stress, anxiety, risked infections, and other totally uncool problems. These additional problems from a lack of menstrual products also contribute to lower class productivity. Talk about inconvenient! 

In the United States, local and state governments are in large part to blame for these unfortunate circumstances. As of today, 35 out of the 50 states view period products as luxury items and levy a sales tax on them. This has become known as the “tampon tax” on menstrual items. According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), women were 38% more likely than men to live in poverty in 2016, which provides a clear sense of why millions of girls go home because they do not have what they need to handle their periods.

According to an NPR article by Laurel Wamsley, some nations are making changes to their laws and improve access for women. Wamsley reports that Scottish Parliament member Monica Lennon recently introduced, and the government passed, a bill to tackle period poverty and help those in need of menstrual products but who struggle to afford them. In the piece, Wamsley states, “The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, which passed unanimously, requires local authorities to ensure that period products are generally obtainable free of charge. Schools and colleges must ensure period products are freely available to students, and designated public places must also make the products available.”  This bill was accepted and implemented in Scotland on November 24, 2020, and made Scotland the first country in the world to make period products available to people in the workplace. Scotland knows what’s up! 

Ultimately, the point that needs to be made is that period products should be free. Women around the world face period poverty which makes everyday living much harder. Making them free would lift a heavy, unnecessary weight off of the shoulders of millions of women.