A Scottish Labour MSP is moving forward with her plans to legislate against "period poverty".

Monica Lennon will launch a Member's Bill in the coming months aimed at helping women and girls who cannot currently access or afford sanitary products.

A consultation on the proposed legislation is to be launched shortly.

Loading article content

Ms Lennon's proposals include the provision of sanitary products in schools and the introduction of an anonymous system through health boards to provide products to anyone who needs them.

She said: "Bringing forward this Member's Bill has the potential to help thousands of women currently living in period poverty.

"Whereas other items such as toilet paper, hand wash and even paper towels can be found in most public bathrooms for free, no such provision exists when it comes to sanitary products - and that should change.

"Scotland has a chance to lead on this important issue and I want to encourage all women and girls to give their views in the upcoming consultation."

She added: "I've persistently raised the issue of access to sanitary products with the Scottish Government over the past few months.

"SNP ministers should be tackling this inequality rather than simply pointing women to food banks.

"That's why I'll be bringing forward proposals to ensure that women and girls in Scotland have the right to access sanitary products when they need them.

"No-one should face a financial burden to look after their essential health."

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: "I am keen to explore what more can be done to tackle the issue of access to sanitary products, within the limitations of the current powers of the Scottish Parliament, to help improve the lives of girls and women in our country.

"We are also actively considering what other support the Scottish Government can provide for women and girls on a low income to have access to sanitary products in dignified settings.

"We've made significant investments in a range of services to support people on low income or facing acute income crisis and tackle the underlying causes of poverty.

"The Scottish Government supports the Scottish Welfare Fund which provides a safety net for vulnerable people on low incomes through the provision of Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants.

"We are also taking action in a range of areas, including investing in affordable housing, increasing childcare, demonstrating our commitment to a real Living Wage, and spending £100 million a year mitigating against the worst of UK Government welfare changes."