Free menstrual products

The University of Bonn is now offering free menstrual products for students. The project is in the pilot phase during the 2022 summer semester. The dispensers are located in seven selected restrooms at central locations.

A pilot project of the University of Bonn

With this offer, the University of Bonn contributes to breaking down barriers and implementing equal opportunities. Through the project, the so-called period poverty is counteracted and the topic of menstruation is further de-tabooed.

You will find the products in dispensers in seven women's toilets in different university buildings. Included are tampons (size normal) and sanitary pads of the brand Periodically. The products are made of organic cotton and are free of chemicals, chlorine bleach and perfume. Menstruating students are welcome to take advantage of this new service.

More information about the background of the project can be found in our FAQ.

Take part in the survey

Our goal is to expand the offering of free menstrual products university-wide. Your feedback will help to establish the offer permanently at the university. The AStA is currently conducting a survey in german to accompany the pilot project and to find out about the demand at the university. Here you can participate in the survey:

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Mr. Andraczek (AStA) and Prof. Dr. Förster (Vice Rectorate for Equal Opportunity and Diversity) present a dispenser for menstrual products. © Barbara Frommann / Universität Bonn

Menstrual products give students the opportunity to participate in everyday life at university. As a sign promoting equal opportunities, we therefore advocate for the free provision of hygiene products.

- Jonathan Andraczek, former chairman of the AStA of the University of Bonn

By offering free period products, we have taken a very practical approach to addressing period poverty and reducing social injustice.

- Prof. Dr. Irmgard Förster, Vice Rector for Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Note

Please take only as many items as you need. Please dispose of used period items in the bins provided.

Menstruationsboxen_BFro_010_a.jpg
© Barbara Frommann / Universität Bonn

Why are there free menstrual products in the restrooms now?

The products are hygiene items that, like toilet paper, are part of everyday use. Like toilet paper, hand soap, or paper towels, menstrual products should be available for menstruating students in the restrooms of university buildings so that they are not disadvantaged when visiting the university.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students who are menstruating and for whom purchasing hygiene products each month is a financial burden may not want to leave the house during their period and thus may not be able to attend the university. Or, if the period occurs suddenly while attending college and the individual does not have any hygiene products with them, they must go home. Those who do not have the opportunity to handle the natural process of menstruation in a hygienic and non-hazardous way do not have the same access to education as a person who does not menstruate. And this is not in line with our idea of equity of opportunity. The university wants to address this inequity by now providing free menstrual supplies.

The offer is intended to de-taboo the topic of menstruation, but not to simplify it. Making menstrual items available is an important step the university can take. However, it does not overcome every disadvantage that menstruating people have compared to non-menstruating people. Severe period pain and other period side effects can also greatly impact university life.

When a menstruating person does not have the necessary financial means or it is a heavy financial burden to purchase suitable hygiene items, this is called "period poverty" (kinderschutzbund-berlin.de). According to utopia.de around 100,000 menstruating women in Germany are affected by period poverty.

The financial burden placed on students by their menstruation should not be underestimated. The offer of free menstrual products is intended to relieve students financially and prevent them from period poverty.

For the pilot project, the dispensers were installed exclusively in women's restrooms. We are aware that not only people who identify as female menstruate. Trans*, non-binary or inter* people, for example, can also menstruate. That's why we want to work to ensure that men's restrooms are also equipped with menstrual products and bins after the pilot project is over.

In principle, the products in the dispensers are intended for all students who menstruate and just need a hygiene product. We ask all users to take out only as many items as they need at the moment and to dispose of them in the appropriate garbage cans after use.

If you find a dispenser empty, we ask you to support us and send an email to Sven Linke, head of cleaning/pest control and guarding, at linke@verwaltung.uni-bonn.de and to please indicate the location. 

The menstrual products in the university restrooms are funded by the Vice Rector for Equity and Diversity during the pilot phase.

Already some universities in Germany, e.g. the University of Potsdam, University of Stuttgart or the University of Passau offer free menstruation products in their toilets.  At the universities of Stuttgart and Passau, this is currently also in the form of pilot projects.

If the survey shows that there is a need for free menstrual products at the University of Bonn and if there is a responsible, purposeful use of these products, the Vice Rector for Equal Opportunity and Diversity will advocate for a rectorate decision to establish it throughout the university. So please take part at the survey so that the offer can continue in the long term.

The offer is primarily aimed at students, as they are most affected by period poverty and limited access to education. In the long term, we would advocate for the dispensers to be placed in more buildings so that the products can be used university-wide.


Free menstrual products are currently located in these restrooms during the pilot project:


Kontakt

Avatar Kasper-Brötz

Sarah Kasper-Brötz

Advisor to the Vice Rectorate for Equal Opportunity and Diversity

+49 228 73 5886

Equal Opportunity and Diversity Unit

The Equal Opportunity and Diversity unit assists and advises the Rectorate on the (further) development of concepts and strategies for promoting equal opportunity and diversity.

Contact

+49 228 73 5818

chancengerechtigkeit@uni-bonn.de

Address

Poppelsdorfer Allee 24
53115 Bonn

AStA

The General Student Committee (AStA) represents the interests of all students at the University of Bonn.

Contact

+49 (0)228 73-7030

info@asta.uni-bonn.de

Address

AStA der Uni Bonn
Endenicher Allee 19 (Container)
53115 Bonn

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