August 31, 2018

Scotland Offers Free Sanitary Products to Students

Scotland has become the first country in the world to offer free sanitary products to female students in school up through college as a way to eliminate period poverty. In a recent survey, 1 in 5 Scottish women had problems affording sanitary products. The primary aim behind offering free sanitary products is to prevent young people from missing school because of a lack of a necessary product.

There is still some stigma attached to talking about menstruation in Scotland. Monica Lennon, a Scottish Labour member of parliament, wants to make sanitary products available to everyone regardless of income. She plans to introduce legislation for a universal system providing free sanitary products for those who need them. Grassroots organizations around the world are working with lawmakers to help women and girls have access to sanitary products so that they don’t have to miss work or school.

Bulgaria has the Most Women in Tech in Europe

Out of all the countries in the European Union, Bulgaria has the most women in the tech industry. The tech industry has been known as a male-dominated sector for years prompting many initiatives to get more women involved in technology. Bulgaria is also one of just three countries in the EU that has more female engineers and scientists than male at 54%.

Even though Bulgaria is leading the charge of having women in the tech field, they are still outnumbered by their male colleagues by three to one. The numbers are even more skewed in higher-level positions. Most investors in Bulgaria are also male which could add challenges for women trying to create tech startups. Despite these possible setbacks, female entrepreneurs are encouraging the next generation of girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math.

Dominican Republic May Allow Abortion for Some Circumstances

The Dominican Republic is one of 26 nations that bans abortion across the board. However, there has been a growing resistance to this law and a movement called “las tres causales” (the three reasons) is gaining a lot of support. Many women have been marching in support of three circumstances where they say abortion should be legal: if the health of the mother is in danger, if the health of the fetus is in danger, and in cases of rape and incest.

This may sound modest in comparison to other countries, but if this bill passes in January, it’ll be a historic precedent for the Dominican Republic. As it stands now, women who get an abortion could face up to three years in jail and the doctor that performs the operation could face four to ten years in jail. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, 92 maternal deaths out of 100,000 were due to unsafe abortions. A majority of the country supports the three causes and activists are not slowing down momentum as the January vote draws nearer.