+
Scotland is the first country in the world to make sanitary products free for everyone
via YWCA Scotland / Twitter

Editor's note: We are re-sharing some of the best moments and most important stories of 2020. Although it was a difficult year for nearly all of us, there were also shining moments of light and signs of hope. This was one of them.

Update: The period products bill was unanimously approved by the Scottish parliament in November of 2020.

***

Period poverty is a big issue that's seldom discussed. A study of UK girls found that 15% have struggled to afford them and 19% have changed to a less suitable product due to cost.

There is also a real problem with period stigma. A recent study found that 74% of 14 to 21-year-old girls in the UK felt embarrassed buying period products.


That's why the Scottish Parliament is about to pass a law that would make it the first country in the world to make sanitary products freely available. It will give "anyone who needs them" access to products "relatively easily" with "reasonable privacy."

It will be a landmark event in the movement to make menstrual hygiene a basic human right.

The Period Products Scotland Bill was proposed by Scottish lawmaker Monica Lennon. "These are not luxury items. They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products," Lennon said, adding that the bill was about "period dignity."

Under the law, products will be made available for free at pharmacies, youth centers, and community centers.

via LGBT Scotland



f


Two years ago, Scotland became the first country to make sanitary products free in all schools, colleges, and universities.

"We will continue our world-leading action promoting wider period dignity through a certification scheme to encourage organizations to provide free products," Aileen Campbell, Scotland's communities secretary, said.

Unfortunately, period products in the UK are still subject to a 5% tax. Former prime minister David Cameron was looking into eliminating it but his hands were tied due to European Union rules.

Currently, there are currently 13 countries that do not impose a tax on period products. In the U.S., there are only 15 states where sanitary products are tax-free.

Period poverty is also an issue in the United States although there's little momentum towards a free-products-for-all program.

Research by The Always Confidence and Puberty Wave VI Survey found that "nearly one in five American girls have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products."

"The fact that there are people who aren't able to afford these products, and as a result, may miss school, may miss work, face certain stigma — I think it's a human rights issue that, especially in the United States of America, women should not have to be dealing with," said Congresswoman Grace Meng, D-New York.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

Keep ReadingShow less