In 2015, the government established the Tampon Tax Fund, which allocated 47 million pounds raised from the tax on period products to charities working with vulnerable women and girls.
In January 2019, Gemma Abbott, the director of the British nonprofit Free Periods, said the group had started a campaign threatening the government with legal action, saying a lack of access to menstrual products affected a child’s educational experience.
Two months later, the government changed course, she said.
Since last year, the British government’s initiative to make period products more accessible has also included putting free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals.
Ms. Abbott said she and Free Periods were trying to hold the government accountable for the initiative, especially about funding it and getting more schools and colleges to sign up.
Over the last few years, governments around the world have revised measures on sanitary products.
In November, Scotland became the first country to make period products available for free. Last year, Germany officially changed its stance on menstrual products by declaring them essential, and reducing their tax rate after they had long been classified as “luxury goods.”
Australia, which also once considered the products a “luxury,” and Canada, India and Malaysia have also abolished the tax.
In the United States, 10 states since 2016 have eliminated the tax: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington, said Jennifer Weiss-Wolf of the organization Period Equity.