In every bathroom at ESMT Berlin, there is toilet paper, soap, and paper towels, but, until recently, there were no menstrual cycle (period) products. For many students, staff, and faculty, that meant always having to remember their period products and paying for them out of their own pocket. If their period was to unexpectedly start, the options were limited: ask around for a spare, travel to the nearest supermarket to buy some, or go home to change.
Why should ESMT provide period products?
Research has shown that menstruating people often leave school or the workplace due to a lack of access to period products. Their education and work get disrupted, affecting their feeling of comfort at ESMT.
As part of the Gender Equality Plan, we have placed boxes in every bathroom so that no one gets caught out again.
How is making free period products addressing gender inequality?
Providing period products is just one way to make ESMT a more comfortable place to work and study. Making period products free means you don’t have to worry whether they will be available when you need them. Making period products available in every bathroom means you don’t have to ask anyone for a spare tampon, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Making period products available means that fewer people with menstrual cycles miss out on valuable days of school or work.
ESMT wants every person to have an equal and comfortable experience both working and studying at the school, so that educational and professional opportunities are not affected by something that comes naturally to so many. Free period products are a huge step forward to achieving that goal.