Vrouwenstrijd campaigns for free menstrual products at the uni

How can you convince faculties to put free menstrual products in their bathrooms? By doing it ourselves first, figured the students of Comité Vrouwenstrijd Groningen.

Last week, they placed containers of tampons and pads at various faculty’s buildings in the city centre and at Zernike. The products are accompanied by a flyer explaining the campaign, says student Ken Hesselink. ‘We think the university should be the one to provide this. That’s why we’re asking students to sign our petition.’

Hesselink says this petition has been signed by approximately three hundred people so far. ‘Both students at the UG and the Hanze, because we stopped by both. So far, students seem happy and think it’s a good campaign. I think there’s a lot of support.’

Inspired

The Comité’s proposal is not dissimilar to the idea that Lijst Calimero brought to the university council back in March. Calimero argued for free products back then, too. The party was inspired by the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), which had been providing free products in several bathrooms since September of last year.

The UG board wasn’t interested in doing this university-wide, but did promise to support faculties if they wanted to start a pilot like FEB.

 ‘Great initiative’

Hesselink is aware of the pilot programme at FEB. ‘It’s a great initiative’, he says. ‘We didn’t put any products in their bathrooms. Our goal is to talk to other faculty boards to convince them to follow in FEB’s footsteps.’ He says the group has been approached by various faculties. ‘We’re sitting down with one of them shortly.’

This week, the group will be using the petition to write a letter to other faculties. ‘We’re sending them to the various boards in the hopes they want to talk to us.’

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